Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 41 Meeting

Wound up chairing the meeting today... Well, not really... The chair was on "vocal rest" for a professional performance tonight and asked me to read all the stuff from the binder that conducted the meeting... The speaker was a 23 year old out gay guy from the South up here looking for a job... He was another of those impromptu speakers asked by the chair at the last minute... And once again... the twenty minutes flew by with wonderful off the cuff stories of experience, strength, and hope... He'd had a few slips when getting started. He attributes that to not changing his playground. He kept going to the same bars and clubs and hanging with the same crowd and abstaining... That wasn't working for him... So he committed to the program, started going early and staying late to meet people in order to "build up a network", got a sponsor, and... So, he has a year and a half today... He credits the meetings, which he has been able to attend in his travels... Which sparked an octogenarian to state in her later round robin share that "meeting makers make it", one of her favorite quotes... I shared about my morning with a wild bus driver who went off on me and I told him I wasn't gonna get upset, that I was just going to go to an AA meeting and share about it... Which sparked his retort: "You probably need AA"... OK dokey... Then another guy came out of a store to intimidate me from taking photos of the mannequins in his storefront public windows... I was on the phone with my sponsor at the time of that one (Who jokingly advised that I take his picture! LOL)... All of this after I had traipsed to AA Manhattan Intergroup's Office to buy some literature during the hours published on the meeting list and was sent away cuz that particular staffer had taken the morning off... Oy!. So, it was one of those mornings... I remarked that in the past I would have secretly held onto each of these resentments deliberately in order to fuel my next binge... But instead, I was using them as an opportunity to look at my own character defects: "over-sensitivity to being perceived as disrespected" came immediately to mind... But I went to that meeting and "punched re-set" (on the day, and on my attitude) as I've heard one member say in the past... And I think I've also heard something like: "You can always re-start your day"... So that's what I did and continued on happily with shopping, errands and chores... I also shared my day count at the Seventh Tradition break... Day 41. Clap, clap, clap...

Day 41 Gratitude List

Today, I am grateful... * For a nice morning meeting that punched re-set on the day...* For the Zen of doing laundry.* For my sense of humor which provides an excellent coping strategy when I let it.* For naps when needed. they also tend to punch re-set on the day.* For the artistic outlet of photography...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 40 Meeting

Learning that when people are asked to speak at the last minute, their qualifications are among the most brutally honest and clear, probably cuz tey didn't have time to think it through and edit their remarks. I thought I was going to a light morning meeting and wound up hearing a hard core case of delayed and postponed willingness that lead to homelessness, bar fights, hitting cops, multiple incarcerations, being gang raped, brown outs, blackouts and being left on a doorstep and reported to 911, walking out of rehabs, going back to rehabs and finding a higher power in solitary confinement. OMG! When it came to my point of the round robin I shared my gratitude for the service of the share, and that while our stories were very different I could see that I could make my story much more similar if I decided to experiment further and have a relapse... I also appreciated his talking about the steps and how relevant they have been in building a new life in recovery. And I told him so... I also shared my day count of 40 days at the 7th Tradition break...

Day 40 Gratitude List

Today, I am grateful:
# For my first Monday of Summer break. # That told a family member who is in recovery with 3 years, that I have my first 40 days today. # For a city that never disappoints with new and exciting stuff to do and see.... # That I could afford a nice breakfast and lunch at two of my favorite Hell's Kitchen spots today. # That I knew the first names of everyone at the morning meeting today.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 39 Meetings

Hit the morning Anniversary Meeting at 42nd Street. The speaker didn't make it, but some guy had taken a taxi in from Queens to make sure he could hit hit a meeting before he had to be at work... And so he spoke at the invitation of the chair... While he has solid recovery today, this is a guy who has had massive slips, including two comas... The priest read him last rites during one of them... He says he has drank alcohol a coupla times by accident... And when he was going to meetings he knew how to handle it. But the last time he was in a spell of isolation from the program and so told the bartender he had just had his first drink in five years and was now gonna get drunk. He made the importance of "putting the program first" as the topic for the round robin... Incidentally the same priest that had read him last rites also married him to his wife after he got back on the sober path... I shared how I know I'm still in shaky ground at 39 days and catch myself fantasizing about "going back out again for a bit"... I was reminded by the speaker that that's a dangerous fantasy because it's clearly in my nature that "too much is never enuf". I renewed: 1. I'm powerless. 2. I have a strong sense of a higher power. And 3 today, I have the willingness to turn it over and attend meetings and commit to not drinking today... Several people shared how shaky they get when they start skipping meetings. Later I went to the Big Meeting at the Hilton Hotel to celebrate the 74th Anniversary of AA with New York Intergroup. I also picked up the new June Meeting List... A huge book of NYC and surrounding area meetings... (I want to try new meetings this summer during all my free time)... A bit of trivia: that today, 74 years ago was when Dr. Bob and Bill W took their work to the man on the bed... (See picture)... Thus, the third member joined AA.... I was especially taken with a guy who qualified (There were three speakers) and mentioned in his history many gay bars that I also had been known to get drunk in over the decades... Without ever needing to identify that he was gay, he stuck to the topic of alcohol. He was comfortable in his skin, and speaking in front of this crowd... I find I am most comfortable in straight meetings myself, since in gay meetings I would have all those "other" issues kick in... It helps me, to just stick to discussion of alcohol... Today is day 39... They did a day countdown thing and i was prepared to stand when my day was called, but the guy doing it messed it all up, and it wasn't clear as he counted the first few days, then jumped to 30, and then to 60, when he should have done spans... Ah well, nobody's perfect! LOL

Day 39 Gratitude

Today, I am grateful... * For the support of some friends, old and new, in my new journey in recovery. * That I can ignore the lack of support from some friends as their own fear and can move forward without resentment. * That there are several meetings today to choose from, including a 74th Anniversary bash on NYC Intergroup at a huge hotel near my home. * For this quote of Quentin Crisp's that sums up the concept of Gay Pride: "I don't think you can really be proud of being gay because it isn't something you've done. You can only be proud of not being ashamed". * For the Internet, where I am always learning new things and progressively exercising my creativity in new and exciting ways...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 38 Meeting

Got to a Morning Meeting... on 42nd Street. A woman chaired that I had heard qualify my first time here. She read a story about a woman with liver disease that started with her reflecting on how she enjoys Sundays so much better today than she did before recovery. This launched me on a share of how I prefer this particular Saturday morning to the ones of the last eight years when I launched my summer vacations with a super binge and would have still been struggling with a severe hangover by the time of this meeting. Already, had breakfast, read the Times, got a haircut, shopped at the Green Grocer, walked the doggy, and sunned and walked along the Hudson River enjoying my hobby of photography... and it was barely 10:30am... I also related my plans to get to meetings, and begin to work the program during my first Summer in recovery. I topped off the meeting with a nice lunch at BBQ... It was a meeting of gratitude, so no need to do a gratitude list today. And when I got home, I was actually energized to tackle a slew of chores...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 37

Got to the Clubhouse for the 4pm... They are still reading the Personal Stories in the back of the book every day. I'm glad they are because my attention span wouldn't allow me to sidt through those... I'm sure I'd skim them over...This story seemed to be mostly about Powerlessness... Step One... I was the last person to be called on and I shared that today I feel like I'm sliding into home base after nine months of running the bases since, as a teacher, the cherished 10 week summer vacation starts immediately... This will be my first sober summer (if I let it)... And usually on this night every year I'm at the local Happy Hour bar seeing all the friends that I alerted that I would be out tonight to launch my first big binge to launch a partying summer... Instead, I'm at this AA meeting, and commiting that if I feel like drinking later, I'll go to another AA meeting later on in the evening... (Reminds me , I need to get a hold of the new meeting schedule so I can be aware of meetings at other times of day instead of just the 4pm, in case I need them. Few meetings seem to offer literature. Maybe the Big Meeting on Sunday at the Hilton will be well stocked by Intergroup?)... I'm also taking advantage of the suggestion to *NOT* get involved in a romantic relationship in early sobriety... As that is usually a (failed) goal every summer... And that I'm looking forward to a summer of going to meetings, spiritual and recovery reading, and starting to do some work on the steps with my sponsor... And we're off....

Day 37 Gratitude List

Today, I am grateful...

- That today is the last day of work for ten weeks... - That I'm in great health today. - That my problems are relatively few in the scheme of things. - That Michael Jackson's untimely death (at my same age) actually empowers me to make a point to live life more fully. - That I'm committed to celebrating the last day of work at a meeting today and not the traditional blowout drunken bash of year's past...

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 36

Today's meeting was a powerful Anniversary meeting where sober people with 90 days to 10+ years.... What jumped out at me was when the man with the most Senior sobriety talked about when you're sober life is still difficult. He views life as solving a series of problems, and when he gets into the "what if's" and "missed opportunities" he realizes his problems today aren't really so bad and that realization gives him the strength to go on. He maintains that in the morning he meditates every day and makes a list of what he wants to do during his day. When he sees something that keeps recurring on the list, he confronts it and does it and invariable realizes it wasn't "that bad"... One young lady (with two years), urges "stick with the winners" and when you hear someone start ranting that the two year mark is extra challenging, "don't even listen cuz they aren't working the steps!" I LOL at that one! ... And the young lady with 90 days acknowledged how hard it is to speak up there in the front of the room for the first time. And as for simple pleasures she's observed in her 90 days: she noted she has always enjoyed sewing, and that in her sobriety, she goes home and sews more... One sober member in the audience added, "When people see she isn't drinking alcohol, and they ask her if she drinks, she always says yes... 'of course I drink! I drink water!" LOL... Anyway, the whole thing was wonderful and I was teary at several points. In fact, I couldn't even raise my hand to share at the end cuz I was quite sure I'd have been all blubbery.... In the words of Seinfeld: "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

Day 36 Gratitude List

Today, I am grateful...

* That today is the last FULL day of the fiscal year before a nice long break. * That today's prior commitment to an Anniversary celebration trumps a Boat Basin bar blast. * For gratitude, which lights up my life. * That I'm not the guy who wrote "You light up my life." * That I'm on a well worn time tested path to enlightenment today...

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 35

The Clubhouse meeting today featured a reading from one of the case study stories in the back of the Big Book. This was about a lady who had relapse after relapse and every next bottom was worst than the last... I was reminded that I don't need to continue the contest of having the worst bottom. Actually, I've had bottoms worse than the bottom where I threw in the towel... And I can't spend energy flirting with the idea of going out there to try to top (or bottom??)myself!.... One woman shared "Nothing throws Miracle Grow on your defects like family." ...I'll be going to Maryland in a couple weeks to visit the family... I spent some free time today surfing the web looking for meetings down there, as I want to continue doing 90/90... Actually found a website where you can easily search neighborhoods by zip code... There are quite a few meetings down there... Nothing like there are in New York City where there's a meeting within walking distance every waking hour of the day... But I'm confident I'll be able to swing a meeting a day down there... I didn't get picked on to share and didn't even raise my hand during the hand-raising part. Was just in the mood to listen today... I shared my day count of 35 days which sparked one of the regulars, (and an occasional meeting chairman) to ask me quietly? "35 Days?? How did that happen so fast??" We laughed about it... It does seem like I first walked in there the other day...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 34

The chair asked me to read Acceptance at the start of the meeting. It's a tradition at this meeting that it's read at the start of each meeting. ... The other reading at today's late afternoon meeting was on the subject of Anger from Living Sober... (Love that little book! It's an easy read and very useful!)... Anyway, I got picked pretty early to share... And I shared that I don't really understand anger. Growing up in an alcoholic and rage-aholic household I never learned how to express anger. And childhood anger expressed was met with 10 times the rage from my parents. Stuff like "I'll give you something to cry about" and so forth.... To this day, I'm not even clear when I'm angry as opposed to fearful, resentful, or anything else. I just know it makes me feel "anxious" and I want to medicate it. I learned early to turn anger inward... And drinking for me was to turn the anger inward and obliterate who I was, (and also to take another day and half to recover from a hangover)... I expressed how I would drink "at" my parents, even as an adult... I wasn't sure I was even making myself clear as I was sharing today... But, a woman, later, at the end of the meeting acknowledged me and used what I said to go off on her own share of how she identified with drinking "at" her father... Shared my day count at the meeting, also... 34 days.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 33

Home from a meeting at the Clubhouse... My share: Am very much *not* living in the moment today. In fact, I'm essentially "climbing out of my skin" to get past this week of work and to the vacation period that lies ahead after the closing bell on Friday... Am thinking of a binge of some kind to "knock myself out" so I can sleep through this feeling and into tomorrow... While drinking is out of the question for me, I could easily binge on a whole turkey and then sleep it off... I shared how I've decided at this stage of sobriety that I hate people. People here laughed in recognition, I guess... I talked about a lunch the other day where this big group of hikers went to a restaurant together for lunch... And the voice in my head was over the top. Someone would ask about whether to get beef or chicken and I would think "you stupid fuck!"... And someone couldn't make a decision about something else, and I'm thinking "Well, that's because you're an idiot!" I'm an addict and I want things *NOW*. "This is where we'll go? OK then let's GO!". "Let's eat. Good. Where's the check?" I have noooo patience for dawdlers... A character defect? Impatiernce? Non-tolerance? Something like that! Prolly! Anyway, I committed at the meeting to not drinking tequila, but eating a bag of Fritos isn't out of the question... As it turns out I stopped on the way home and bought a slew of fresh berries and cherries... Running into people here from other meetings that I've sat next to, or chatted with before a meeting, and we say hi. So I don't hate ALL people! LOL... Anyway, I'm sober today. It's day 33.
PostScript: I realized later that "Acceptance is the answer..." It's ok if I feel this way today. It's ok... (See sidebar for pg 449 text.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 32

This morning's speaker was right up my alley. Like me, he has friends and relatives that try to tell him he doesn't need meetings. And he's got ten years of sobriety now... And his bottom wasn't the real hard core nasty kind either, like I was hearing yesterday... He talked a lot about lying... And how he would lie to doctors about medical stuff related to his drinking... And it set me on a later share in the round robin about my own lying... or stretching the truth... about drinking. When a doctor at a clinic filling out a diagnostic form asked if I had more than two drinks a day, I said no... Because 15 drinks in one sitting on binge night averaged out over a week would be a legal limit, and I certainkly wasn't gonna bring up binge night(s)... Also when I went to a hospital for an esophogeal condition a year ago...They asked if I'd been drinking, I said no cuz it had been 48 hours since a binge... Knowing full well that the alcohol abuse is what probably caused the problem.... I also shared that I don't need to go back out to top my own bottom with an even deeper one... Shared the day count of 32 days at the seventh tradition break... Ran into one of the regulars (from another meeting location) at today's meeting. He called my name at the end, and then tossed me a 30 day chip. It's well worn. I think it was his. I was moved... He mentioned he has a 60 also if I need it, eventually... Sweet deal... After getting home, Walking the dog, I ran into a lesbian neighbor that I know is in the program and told her I was now in her program... We had a nice chat about it. She has several years of sobriety. I want to ask her next time if she ever noticed I was drunk a few times I was walking the dog and chatting with her out front. Knowing she was in AA, I remember working hard to not let her know... She probably did... She told me the secret to her foundation of sobriety longevity is continually going to meetings.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 31

Just back from a meeting at the Clubhouse. I spent the whole thing feeling like I wasn't as good a drunk as everyone else. Sounds funny, but that's what I was feeling... So I sat low in my chair and kept my head from the purview of the chairman and was relieved when no one called on me at the pitch (This is a meeting where you don't raise your hand, the person before you just picks whoever they feel like it. It's often to someone they know... Or also someone randomly)... This meeting was full of heavy duty addicts and alcoholics, who had arrests, death wishes and suicide attempts, and many were in a rehab program now and this was their meeting of the day... Most or all had shared about intense relapses...Wow. Brought home to me that I would *definitely* want to make a relapse worst than anything I had ever done before. That's just what I do... I'd want it to be bigger and worst and add some drugs and try to get the biggest high yet before I'd ever want to get back to abstinence and the rooms.... If I ever did have the desire to recover after riding so high... It's a scary thought. So, instead, I just won't drink today... And I went to a meeting. "Don't drink, and go to meetings. Don't drink and go to meetings".... The last 15 minutes of the meeting are for people to raise their hands to speak... The chair called on me by name at the end of the meeting even though I hadn't even raised my hand (He's been supportive in the past)... And so I pretty much shared all of the above with the group... I also shared my day count of 31 days at the break...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 30

Clubhouse at 4... Shared my isolation and how it's a bit incongruous with my gregarious nature, and career and bar personality... And my ability to talk to others about "them", and not about myself... I'm quite crafty at swaying conversations!... I've not made a single program call though I have a few numbers, and I have no sponsor... Essentially, I'm in awe of people that can "ask for help"... I shared that I figure these issues will somehow be a goal for my next thirty days in sobriety...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 29

Got to the Clubhouse. Shared my day count: 29. Meeting was kind of boring, quite frankly... The high humidity had something to do with it... But I stayed the whole time... Emailed an old friend that I knew was in the program... Got this nifty response:
Congrats, if that is appropriate for coming to AA, I just know the benefits, I just celebrated 22 years, one day at a time.  So I will wait until tomorrow to say congrats on your 30 days. I am very proud of you, even thought I didn't know your struggle.  But look where sobriety took me, well most of the time, everything I have I owe to sobriety.  And I hated the people who said "Beyond my wildest dreams, I mean I snarled at them" but they are right.  Let me know if you want to do a meeting, I will be back in city next Monday.  I would love to.  Proud of you and love you N

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 28

Went to Between Shows on 46th... Again, a speaker that hit home with the right mix of show business and people, places and things... The speaker shared this quote from the movie Platoon: "I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves, and the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days... "possesion of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with whats left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 27

Got to the Clubhouse just as the meeting was starting... Reading was the Loneliness chapter in "Living Sober". Tuesday at 4 is the only "4 the Grace" during the week that's an "open" meeting... Hence, the reading from this terrific little beginner's handbook weekly.... I didn't share, though, the topic certainly resonates. I would isolate for days at a time after-work working my way up to the social binge night at the local dive bar... So, for me, it was either alone... or happy hour. People shared how they started making program calls to break their isolation (I've yet to make a single call yet)... And many talked about their appreciation of the meetings as a breakthrough for them. Most of the shares seemed to be people who would drink alone at home... or secretly after their spouses would go to bed.... I can't relate to that... I would never drink alone... For me, it was strictly to juice my social interaction... Reminds me of when a professional once told me, that I'd made a decision early to "go it alone." And that's indeed been my natural tendency!... Still is, but I'm starting to look at that...

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 26

Seem to be falling behind in these blog posts about meetings... By the time I finish work, get home, take care of dinner and the doggy, I'm too wiped to post... So this is an example of a post I'm actually writing the day after and altering the date to the day before. This blog is still set to invited readers only... And I'm still pondering how to handle it and the voice of this blog... Seems like a good idea to come out of the recovery closet, and justb publish the damned thing... But am still hesitating to do it... But am considering combining two or more of my other blogs into this one... I don't have to worry about it today and can deal with it over the summer... Monday's meeting was at the clubhouse... I leapt into volunteering to be the first sharer w/o thinking about a share in advance... But I remembered sharing that I appreciate that conversations here are more important and intimate than any conversation I had with drinking buddies in a bar. One guy brought up one of my favorite non-program quotes: "Do you want to right? Or do you want to be happy?" More and more, I :ind myself not engaging in battles to be right and sitting on the sidelines as an observer. I also shared that I have been using meetings to bookend events that I predict might be triggers... It's working well so far...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

25th Day

Have now been to as many meetings as I have sober days. And since I attended my first meeting, I have been able to keep up a commitment to attend at least one meeting a day. Sometimes two.... Sunday brought two meetings. The morning one on West 42nd was especially powerful because the speaker shared SO many of my issues and he has accumulated about ten years of sobriety. I could identify with searching for validation outside myself as a performer, and then resenting it. He brought back childhood memories of creme de menthe on ice creak, uncles giving kids beer, and family fights at the dinner table with dinner pushed back later and later for cocktail hour... This was one guy that I would've asked to be my sponsor. He even shared how he'd read Marianne Williamson and then go off on a bender... I could so relate. Alas, he did not raise his hand at the break indicating that he was available to be a sponsor... So as Marianne wold say: "If the train doesn't stop at your station, it's not your train..." Other shares included mentions of side addictions... video stores, shopping, food. "Why can't we ever get addicted to something healthy like exercise" drew laughter... A musician from a cruise ship shared how he's trying to remain sober w/ those Bill W. meetings w/pax on his vessel... As for me, I cried for the 1st time while sharing. HATED that!

Second meeting was on way to a big show biz event that I feared might trigger feelings that I would want to medicate... So, I went to the meeting "to hit re-set"... There was a prisoner here just released, and for a fleeting moment, I was thinking I would take him home and rescue him... Lord help my thinking! Jeeze. I shared... And one of the older timers gave me his #. I didn't call. Still haven't felt comfortable making a program call... I HATE the phone... Anyway, it was another day sober.... And I'm just not drinking and going to meetings.

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

23 Meetings, 24 Days

Went to two meetings today at two different addresses on West 46th Street... 10am and 4pm. I shared at both... Heard a lot of good stuff... So much that I can't even sort out what was what or recall at the moment what I said... But, that's okay. Oh yeah... First one was on the topic of Tools in the program and how they are greater than the sum of their parts and the second started with the chapter on Acceptance in the Big Book which included a war story of a drug addicted alcoholic...

Friday, June 12, 2009

21st Meeting, 23rd Day

Went to my new Friday Happy Hour meeting at the Clubhouse. Wasn't picked during pitch. But it's ok. And didn't raise my hand at that pick part and that's okay, too! All I would've said was I was glad to be there... And that after a few minutes there my compulsion to go out and drink for a Friday binge was lifted... Interesting how that works... I heard at a meeting the other day that alcoholics in recovery don't know how to celebrate things as alcohol was the traditional way... A guy at a different meeting shared he had a show opening this week and the way he used to go celebrate will be celebrated by going to a meeting instead... Hm.

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Twentieth Meeting, Day 22

Made it to the Clubhouse and volunteered to do the first share.... The reading had been one of the case studies and it triggered my thoughts of wasted time trying to moderate and regulate my drinking... I shared that and that I'm not waking up with cotton mouth, headaches, nausea and then spending the next morning working extra hard to people-please so that no one would suspect that I had been drinking... Abstinence is easier... I also said that I really did have many years of take-it-or-leave it social drinking.... But then after I got a real buzz... I wanted that buzz all the time from alcohol... I shared about the night before my bottom when Peter told me to "Take responsibility" after the bartender poured a drink I didn't ask for, but drank, of course... I'm the bartenders best friend cuz I tip well. Many people shared off what I said... Several mentioning me by name... I also shared my day count of 22 days

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nineteenth Meeting, Day 21

Today is the 74th Anniversary of AA. I went to the Between Shows meeting where there were several people with burning desires to speak, and much sharing of people with loads of sobriety "picking up"... One with ten years, one with 18 years were discussed... Guess the take away is to remain vigilant... They read the sixth step in the Twelve and Twelve here... And many people spoke on that topic.... I shared my day count of 21 days.

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Eighteenth Meeting, Twentieth Day

Went to the Clubhouse for the 4. The reading was from Living Sober and was about eating and sleeping habits in sobriety. It brought back to me the amount of money I'm saving in Pepcid AC's and Tums. And reminded me of the sleepless nights, and cotton mouth, and waking up in the middle of the night with a headache and/or nausea. And pushing through the whole hangover day and then sleeping really well that next night. Am still adjusting to a sleep cycle that doesn't include an alcohol binge every few days followed by 12 hours of make-up sleep. I shared my day count (Day 20) at the break... A guy congratulated me on my day count on the way out. I think I was the one with the least sobriety at this meeting and I feel very much the beginner...

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Seventeenth Meeting, Nineteenth Day

Went to the Clubhouse for the 4. Got held up on the walk home with two beloved colleagues that wanted to walk and talk with me, and they walk at a slower pace than I do (Most people do!)... Rather than rigidly insist I had to run ahead, I took the leisurely pace to be with them... And although I was wiorried about him, the doggy WAS able to wait til I got home after 5pm (after the meeting's end) for his walk... Such a perfect and patient doggy!... Shared my day count at the meeting. Realized that the annual food festival right out the front door of the meeting place was often a catalyst for me to grab food samples to take back to the saloon to wash down with tequila while sharing food with the bartender and others... Didn't do that today... In fact, I was so concerned about the extra long day for the doggy that I came straight home and avoided the whole anxiety ridden process of buying food tickets and then figuring the exact count of tickets for the exact foods that I wanted, waiting in line at each booth, and either woofing it down while standing or walking... So I chose the more serene meal plan of coming home to microwave some leftover Indian food and steam some veggies I got at the Greenmarket last weekend... Someone at today's meeting shared that he always thought that the H-A-L-T warning (Hungry, Angry, Lonely , Tired) should be HAALT and include "Anxiety"! OMG... I could relate to that! I hate anxiety and always looked for a way to relieve it... Usually with alcohol... I Like HAALT as my personal warning... That's the take-away for today!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sixteenth Meeting, Eighteenth Day

Made it to a second meeting today... Felt like an iced coffee and rather than wander around wondering who was tending bar here or there today, or who was hanging out, I decided to swing by the Clubhouse to sip my coffee in a meeting. Am recognizing regulars there, and regulars are pitching the opportunity to share my way. Shared my day count... And was glad I went. Don't think I've been to a meeting yet where I wasn't glad I went...

(Message composed on my T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 mobile device).

Fifteenth Meeting, Day Eighteen

Got to the 10.30am meeting at Al-Anon House. Got there a little late and found I missed a speaker. He must have talked quick. Several shares commented on the straighforwardness of his share. It was a round robin and I shared about my week and how I didn't hold onto resentments and anger and hurt and use it to fuel a binge... Since binges are off the table. I admiited I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable... And that I'm committed to doing 90/90 a day at atime, and that I won't drink today! Meeting went quick... Serenity prayer and we were out... Nice way to start a Sunday...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fourteenth Meeting, Day Seventeen

Tried a new 10am Meeting on 46th Street. That makes three meeting places that I've been to on that single street alone... I asked at the break if they had a 24 hour Surrender Chip, they didn't... But the person right next to me blurted out that she had one to spare and gave me hers. The place cheered. That's how it works... Not sure what happened to my last aluminum one. It's vanished. And I'm superstitious enough to want one handy... Meeting was well-stocked of other 'morning people"... Very *STRANGE* to run into Gary on his 3rd year anniversary. He got a chip... He remembered seeing a play I was in in high school, and last we saw each other we were both drinking beer at the Eagle Beer Blast about 3 years ago... He thinks that might have been his bottom, and that he was probably in a blackout as he doesn't remember seeing me there at all. And we had quite a conversation that I recalled to him... He sez that particular meeting is great and they meet there at that church near Sixth Ave daily... That adds yet another possible entree to the menu of meeting options on West 46th St. He was blown away by the coincidence of my appearance at that meeting... So was I really...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thirteenth Meeting, Day Sixteen

Rain is a trigger... While attempting to regulate my alcohol intake, I'd say "oh, wow, bad weather let's go out and see see who is out at the bar tonight"... Or "my best friend Bartender needs my tip"... Doesn't matter if it's over my self-determined allowance of night's out... An oldtimer sez he likes to go to meetings in bad weather because people are there who really want a meeting, or there cuz they really need a meeting... I also shared I'd had a rough week. I didn't let anything get me really down. Accentuating the positive and all that... And not drinking and going to meetings. I'm fine today.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twelfth Meeting, Day Fifteen

Clubhouse. Found an old friend there that I remembered when he went into the program and got sober. He was always very verbal about it... was shocked when he announced today was his anniversary and it was 16 years! Sixteen years??? He said when people ask him when his bottom was: He says it was when he came to AA... A couple people chuckled. In this meeting people don't raise their hands for pitch, you get picked on. He picked me and I shared my day count and how I'm seeing that all kinds of little things I'm experiencing this week would have been held onto it and made into reasons for self-pity to justify a week end drinking binge... That instead, I've been stopping from judging myself with each problem and not letting it get to me since drinking is no longer an option... I pitched to a guy that I've heard share a few times... It's kind of like, instead of buying someone down the end of the bar that you might have chatted with once or twice a beer, you give them a pitch by name... Maybe they'll reciprocate in a future meeting and sometimes not... walking home with S16, he told me how he, too, avoided gay meetings as there was a sexual dynamic at play, or a romantic one, and he was advised early on not to date anyone in the program for the first year... I don't know about that... But I'm sure I won't for at least 90 days, and by going to these straight meetings there isn't much danger of that anyway...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Eleventh Meeting, Day 14

Between Shows. Shared day count and heard a lot of good stuff. Prolly should change the blog titles to Day Counts rather than Meeting counts... It's about a day at a time... Went back to "Between Shows". A powerful meeting. Woman next to me had 11 years. I shared my 14 days... Speaker had a combo of alcohol, drug, and sex addiction. He did a lot of sharing the importance of step work. He said he did a separate 4th step for sex and relationships, besides the one he did for alcohol.... Stuff heard "Whenever you're in a relationship, you run right into YOU"... An HIV poz guy shared he only feels comfortable in a relationship with other poz guys... And regarding alcohol " I drank AT my father... I did drink At other people. My blackout msgs left for a sober friend hoping for an intervention lead to him trying to talk me out of this....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tenth Meeting

Reading was from Living Sober on Sponsorship. I shared that I'd rather have an interim sponsor... Sounds far less scary. Still don't have one though... All will be revealed... I also shared about my day where an assisitant lectured me this morning with a barrage of all the reasons that she thinks I'm perfectly awful... Even after the dozen or more folks I dealt with today who completely adore my work. I kept focussing on the one negative one ... And that it made me want to go to the saloon tonight and hangout with my "friends" which would've included Patron'... Instead, I was at a meeting, and later I was thinking that I handled the asst's rant today much better than I would've when I would've used it as kindling for a drink binge... Instead I thanked her for her share... And moved on... So there...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ninth Meeting

Another one at the Clubhouse... And many powerful shares... Loved the comment that "sometimes I think and feel and react like a child... But, then I look in the mirror and realize I'm not a kid anymore. When I get into Mommy and Daddy thinking and realize that was more than 50 years ago... It's time to take responsibilty..." Shared my day count at 12 days.