Christmas Blessings

Well it’s Christmas Eve, I’ve been looking forward to the Celebrations we had planned for months and our little girls have been struck down with a horrible cold. We have been battling fevers, body aches and colds for 3 days now. Earlier today we made the decision to cancel the visiting we had planned with family members and to miss our Candle Church Service with much sadness. …this sadness and irritability set in for a bit then I acknowledged it and moved on.

Out came family time!! We have watched movies, cooked together, danced and cried. It’s been a wonderful Christmas Eve together after all. Amazing huh? duhhhh. God’s plans for our family were different than mine. He strikes again!

So I spoke for the first time in public this week at an open meeting. It was an honor to be asked and immediately after I was I began praying. I prayed that my nerves would go away and that I would be able to concentrate on the fact that it was God’s opportunity to touch other’s lives, not MY opportunity to sit in the spotlight. Seriously…I actually prayed that like a hundred times in the week before. I wasn’t praying for the words or the voice, simply to shut down my ego and just gave it to HIM.

My Mum came to this meeting (first one for her) and it was a trip to be telling it the way it was and see her. My sister was there (she ROCKS) my hubby and some other fantastic friends. I couldn’t believe how calm I was, I don’t really remember what I said but apparently it went well.

A very nice woman approached me after and introduced herself, saying how much I had impacted her. She appreciated meeting a woman who had thought she’d balanced the family responsibilities with drinking only to find she’d failed.

She rocked my world with her thanks! I gave a few people this blog and told them they could find many fantastic blogs by following my links.

Tonight will be spent watching the Passion of Christ as hubby and I have done for years but I have a feeling this year I’ll be seeing it in a new light. God has SAVED me from Hell on Earth as well as in the afterlife.

Praise BE!!

Easy Does It

Only 6 days until Jesus’ Birthday!!!!

Each year our 2 precious little girls go to their Grandmother’s for the weekend at this time to celebrate their birthdays. They are both born in December….great planning I know 😉 What this meant each year is that hubby and I would run to the liquor store and beer store, call up friends and have great food, drinks and friends with lots of sleeping it off for the weekend. We were always wrecked when they returned.

What were we going to do this year? There were no plans, no invitations….I had avoided thinking about it. Then on a whim I posted on Facebook that hubby and I would be going locally for appetizers on Saturday night if anyone would like to join us.

So Saturday morning while hubby drove the girls to Grammie’s I had the joy of going to the cell phone store for 2 hours while they worked out some “issues”….the upside is the girls didn’t have to endure it. Then I went shopping….People are just bloody RUDE…I digress.

So I did the last of the shopping, got home where hubby met me. We put on the lights, turned on, Christmas music and set up the wrapping station. Imagine that if you preplan wrapping is easier??? I wish I’d taken pics of it, I was in Martha mode….had my scissors and tape in designates spots and Heaven help hubby if he tried to use my tags. So with hubby doing the bending and lifting of boxes we/I wrapped away.

Then I began to get irritable….really BAD. I was snapping and being a total Bitch in my head. WHY? I realized it and took a break, grabbed a coffee and prayed on it. I knew I was tired (from shopping) and in pain (car accident)….I had a huge realization…..every single year since I was 19 I’d had wine while wrapping. I’d never realized I’d done this. How did I not know this?

I was a person who made an event out of a glass of wine….choose the perfect wine at the store, put it on the counter where I can see it and look forward to it, finally get the pretty wine glass of choice (big as a baby’s head) and enjoy!

It was totally a part of Christmas prepping for me. So far the get togethers haven’t bothered me, it has only ever been my personal use of booze that I have missed! In private times.

Soooo I went back to my wrapping station and said in a bit of a scared voice to my hubby “I want a wine REALLY badly right now”.

We have talked about this many times in the past and how we would handle it. He said “you need a drink”…he went and got out my dusty wine bowl, washed it, filled with crushed ice and made me a “drink”. I sipped and felt joy….not so much because of the drink but because I have such an amazing husband. The drink was redbull and sprite by the way :) Dig it but have it so rarely because I want it to be a “special” drink.

The wrapping continued and was good, enjoyable even, amazing to me that we can make new memories to replace old habits 😉 Then we met up with friends for appetizers and had a BLAST laughing and chatting.

By the end of the evening I was exhausted and fulfilled with the Christmas season feeling of friends and family.

I’m glad today that I didn’t fly off the handle and start fights with hubby, I didn’t drink and I remembered to Pray for guidance. The TOOLS I’ve been given have really helped.

Oh and for the realization that I want nice glasses forever 😉 Cappuccinos and Mocktails are going to be important for me hahaha.

One Day at a Time

Funny this blogging, it takes me huge energy (due to some issues I have from the car accident) and yet everything that happens in a day seems to be blog worthy. For those who are over the age of 30 and have an ounce of humor that is equivalent to sponge worthy ala Elaine of Friends. Wasn’t Phoebe the best?
So my life is crazy right now and yet I find Peace and Joy at each turn. Each time I feel the limitations I suffer since this car accident I have to divert my attention so I don’t become overwhelmed by the pity pot to which I’m susceptible. Not that hard when there is quality TV programming such as the Maury “Who’s your baby Daddy” show on each day. For real these people MUST be paid to be on there. I digress.

Today I’m doing a few odes…..first off on my list is my….
FUGCLINER

Don’t lie or be kind it’s horrific!
This beaut was a garage sale find, shocking as that is….I tried the Pottery Barn alas they just didn’t have the quality of FUG I was seeking. This baby was $20 and worth every penny until I can get an actual recliner which I can sit in. I have issues with my back/neck so to be comfy I need to sit with feet up. With the FUGCLINER I only need 4 pillows including a very sleep neck pillow such as they sell at CAA….yes Paris it’s HAWT. (is she still cool or am I old?)
LOVE the amount of 80’s tacky this puppy brings to our living room, I sit in it listening to my Milli Vanilli tape.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my friend Julie (wicked cool chick, check out her website on my link) who named said luscious piece of furniture.
Next on my list is my….
ANTIQUE JEEP …circa 1997
Ok so she looks sexy as can be right here, all 4×4 and snow worthy but under all this Loveliness is rust, bondo and a vehicle that is hell on gas.
I LOVE IT.
Seriously.
Now we bought this in the spring, hubby worked nights with the only vehicle (company vehicle was taken back after the accident when we realized I would be off work for a while).
I am lovin the Jeep but see that white stuff?
Not so much.
I was never EVER scared of winter driving, did all my learning in it so wasn’t an issue. Now since the accident I’m terrified, like sweat covered, shaking, gripping the wheel, breathing deeply scared. Soooo I drive in town only when necessary and hubby takes it to work. I like looking at it ….in a certain light it’s like the Porche SUV I always wanted 😉
The last item I was diggin today is my….
Sorels
Wait, that’s not mine…note the sleep look and the thin ankle area which would need me to bend to slip on? Nope I don’t qualify. Nor can I wear my heels…..lace ups….well basically my pair speaks for itself:
Just like these:
Sexy has met it’s match in these. Listen folks there’s nothing sexier than me not falling on my rump because I have no balance. They are warm, easy to slip on and my kids can help 😉
Functional is the new black.
Today I am grateful to have celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday (so bloody sweet) to have taken the opportunity to read a Devotion and a Big Book chapter again ….and to try to blog.
With all that my body and emotions are going through my spirit has lifted me. My God and true core belief in my sobriety has helped me soar over my frustration, pain, sorrow to a place where I am feeling blessed.
Oh and to update you all, I chaired the Christmas Gratitude meeting for my Home Group on Saturday and it was AMAZING, I had friends who attended who had never been to a meeting before. Totally wonderful. Another group’s member approached me and asked me to speak!! So I’m going to this month…whoohooo 😉
Hoping within this 24 hours your growth, serenity, courage and wisdom have been granted.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

The Grace of God

I’m thinking to begin posting about my early sobriety before I forget the experience. My intent for this blog is to jot down my thoughts because these days they fall away from my memory. I love the blogs with humor about sobriety because it’s not all been misery, in fact, spiritually it’s been an amazingly loving, wonderful journey so far.

SO a bit about my history would be an appropriate place to begin. I was born a super cute lil thing to a British Mum and Dad who lived here in Canada, I have one sister who is AMAZING, you know the type of sisters where one follows the other around constantly annoying the other trying to be like her? That was us errr okay it was me. Great childhood, involved with sports, school, community and church.
As I said in my earlier post I felt “less than” within my own self and unless I was able to appear to be accomplished at something I rarely participated in it. I did well in school easily, same with sports and friends generally.
I cannot remember my first drink, my folks enjoyed beer and wine so it was commonly around our home, not like I was drunk on a Saturday night at 5 or anything but I’m certain I’d tasted beer at home young because I knew it tasted like funk before I recall drinking it. I also remember despising doing communion at our church because the wine tasted horrific (budding palate?)

In grade 7 a bunch of us kids were at my friends house and decided to steal a drink out of her Mom’s Texas Mickey of hooch. Seriously this was a HUGE (like to my waist) bottle with a pump top that her Mom refilled with something she made (I specifically remember her using panty hose to strain something which she boiled on the stove). So we get the cup and took turns. It burned like a MOFO!! I hated it ….and yet I had more than one because everyone else was.

Fast forward to years later and I was drinking with my Sister and her friends (she totally didn’t want me to cuz I was only 16)  it was Singapore Sling out of a tupperware juice container and we were playing Molsons poker. Do you see where this is going? Yup drunk, blottoed…gross and puking in the bathroom an hour later. So again wanting to “fit in” I had an aversion to booze.

I must say at this point I do have a tenacious streak which has served me well in business and other challenges and ultimately in my dumbass quest to become an accomplished connoisseur.

Off we go to my late teens – didn’t bother drinking much, I was usually the DD.

I’m not sure why but in my early 20’s I began to drink regularly. LIKE A SAILOR. I took pride in the fact that I could drink with the “big boys” and leave ’em in the dust. Thursday – Saturday nights were drunkfests, when most people were making memories I was blacking out. I had a great job, great family and all were well on these fronts…in my mind at the time it was normal for the youth to party like this.

I went to college again at 23 and didn’t really do the drinking thing because I commuted but Saturday nights are all a blur. Actually to be fair I was working 3 jobs and school so didn’t have much time but when I did…yup no holds barred. I think I had created a habit for myself of living my lives in different boxes, student, employee, sister, friend, daughter, party girl and never shall the two meet.

During my early to mid twenties I dated alot, made poor choices outside of work/school and led a really fast lifestyle. Clubs, parties….anything that was offered I spontaneously did. By my late 20’s I met who was to be my future husband. I got my first “real” career job and life was good. I remember feeling loved by someone other than family for the first time and my joy was huge because I loved him too. (let’s save that story of this wicked awesome guy for another blog)

Fast forward again to recent years…I was a Mom who worked, commuted and was often overwhelmed with the feeling that I wasn’t your typical June Cleaver which I strived to be. I compared myself to those other women who did it with seeming ease.

You know the ladies, the ones who are totally comfortable at the Early Years Centers, those who remember to bring snacks, clean clothes, are fully made up in their Lululemon yoga suits with their already tight abs and chatting over a coffee?? I was the Mum who ran out 20 minutes late with the diaper bag that I forgot to restock, not showered in a few days, frazzled, dying for a coffee or perhaps something to eat for the first time in DAYS ….but I made it to the bloody Early Years Center so my 6 month old daughter could “play” and “socialize” with other babies??????

Why didn’t someone slap me?

So this caught up with me….a glass of Shiraz on a Friday night bled over time into a bottle. My husband loved the gregarious wife who had come back to him on Friday nights, I was carefree again for a few hours, witty, fun, SEXY!! Then on Saturday evenings we always had plans with friends which meant wine for me, beer for the men (hubby has always been a 1 or 2 beers guy) and of course for a GREAT night it was shots of Patrone! Oh and I am a total snot with alcohol, it was so important to me that it be “quality” booze until later when boxed wine and buck a bottle beer worked too, heck I even drank sweet white wine my parents friends gave them for Christmas when I was in a pinch.

So Sunday to Thursday I waited (without realizing) for feeling like myself again on Friday and Saturday. I loved my daughters and enjoyed them totally but ultimately felt like I wasn’t the best Mum God could have chosen for them. I beat myself constantly with my internal thoughts as we women are apt to do. I got fit, jogging 4K/day with a wonderful friend of mine and felt great about surface things.

This drinking had begun to take a turn, I could be fun tipsy Julie and suddenly for no apparent reason to those around me become Mean Nasty Drunk Julie. It was totally unpredictable by the number of drinks or type. Frankly I didn’t remember most of it. Black outs were common for me.

I refuse to do a drunkalog so let’s say that this continued for a while, sometimes it was a lucky night with Awesome Party Girl Julie and sometimes Drunk Julie came out. I got sick of feeling the shame of waking. There is nothing like being afraid to open your eyes and look to see the mood of the ones you loved the most to know what you did.

The time came after just another Drunk Julie night when I’d had enough. I told hubby (not for the first time) that I was done with drinking. That I had to admit I needed help and that I needed GOD. I had known for a long time that I had an issue, that I abused alcohol and didn’t know why. I also knew that the day I quit I would be changing my entire life, way of thinking and truly giving it all up….all of my wants/desires and dedicating my life to God and His will.

FRIGHTENING doesn’t cover it. I was terrified to face a LIFEtime surrounded by alcohol and not being able to imbibe. I would be excluding myself FOREVER.

So this was it, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. There was no more space within me to stuff down the emotions. I got on my knees totally devastated and prayed to God. I gave him my life, confessed my sins of which I could face/remember and begged that he fill me with His Holy Spirit. That he take my life and guide me. That’s it. I had no more words but God knew what was in my heart.

From that moment, broken as I was, God has used me. He led me to a meeting, gave me the strength to walk in the doors and I’ve been relieved of the need to drink.

I am SoberJulie and today I’m Grateful by the Grace of Godhe is using me for His purpose and I feel at home.

Progress rather than perfection

Okay day 2 of the blog life, I must say there is a ton of amazing blogs to read. Amazing meaning: witty, funny, gross, challenging, thought provoking, sad, misdirected….frankly almost any adjective I can come up with and yes I’m using a Thesaurus.
Today I have been reflecting on my Journey thus far and have to say I’ve had it good but often was so wrapped up in self and the evils of to notice.
Since as far back as I remember I needed to be the best at everything I tried….grade 1 it was rollerskating. My sister (3 years older) and I had the white roller skates with bright red fuzzy covers and would put an LP on our wonderful portable record player and head down to the unfinished basement to practice our routines.
My sister was quite the choreographer, we put on quite elaborate shows which the local kids paid to see (she was an entrepreneur too). The thing is I didn’t practice for the love of rollerskating, even at this young age I just wanted to perfect the moves and be the “best”.  I remember the time fondly, grooving to Mini Pops and perfecting the slide ending to “Whip It” but I also remember going into school and lying to my friends telling them that I was taking Disco Rollerskating lessons. Seriously?
Wait, Disco was somewhat cool still (a necessary disclaimer)
Our small town didn’t even have a roller rink.
SO my rambling point is: I have a character defect: I tend not to enjoy the moment or accept my achievements. Even at 7 years old I wasn’t happy that I’d practiced and learned something new, it wasn’t “enough” in my own mind.
I’ve learned so much since walking through the door at my first meeting which was the day after I picked up my Bible and dusted it off.
Here just 2 things of many:
God loves variety and he made me unique, complex and for His purpose!

Psalm 139:13 (NLT), “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Vs. 14 (NLT), “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it!.”

Fear and Pride are a waste and impede my purpose.
From the AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions page 123:
“We have had a much keener look at ourselves and those about us. We have seen that we were prodded by unreasonable fears or anxieties into making a life business of winning fame, money, and what we thought was leadership. So false pride became the reverse side of that ruinous coin marked “Fear.” We simply had to be Number One people to cover up our deep-lying inferiorities.”
Page 124, 125:
“True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the profound desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.”
This blog has gotten serious…ish but I really challenge everyone to slow down, accept yourself, enjoy the gifts and talents we are given. I don’t mean avoid challenges or development but LOVE yourself just as God does…..