Tag Archives: Alcoholics Anonymous

How do you know when to let go of people, places and things?

I posted this yesterday on InTheRooms.com.

We hear at least once in every meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous we hear that we have to change PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS.

What if one of those people is yourself?

As people in recovery, we have to be very aware of what all of our triggers are.

For me one of my biggest triggers lately is the amount of sobriety time I have. I just celebrated 29 months of sobriety and it has begun to make me ever sensitive. You are probably asking why now?

It was right about this amount of time during my original time of sobriety of February 2014 – September 14, 2016 that I became very unhappy with working a program. I got angry at folks in my home group the Goliad here in San Antonio. I got angry with individuals in my online home group Global Steps Alcoholics Anonymous that happens to meet on the platform of InTheRooms.com. To be honest with you I still have no idea what made me angry. Probably my own PERSONALITY over PRINCIPLES – IMAGINE THAT! All I know is that, because I was angry I stopped attending meetings – which in turn meant I was not sharing in meetings. I quit doing any type of service work, including the monthly BBQ which I used to thoroughly enjoyed.

Because I quit working any type of program, let alone THE PROGRAM of Alcoholics Anonymous, I allowed myself to throw every bit of what I had gained during that 2 1/2 years of sobriety. I will never say I lost anything, I will say I threw it away and gave it all away for what. To spend the next 3 1/2 years in and out of relapse and recovery?

What is really wonderful today is that I am fully mentally aware of all of my triggers. I am aware when I harm others with my words or actions and I am able to immediately make amends to them. I am able to see when I am feeling some kind of way and I can address it through sharing in meetings or picking up the phone and calling someone. One of my biggest triggers right now is that some things have happened that are causing that fear of economic insecurity to begin to creep back in. I am writing about it, I am talking about it therefore I am increasing my armor against that chink appearing and allowing my disease of alcoholism and addiction to continue to do push-ups and pull-ups waiting for an opening.

I am working the program and I will continue to do what I know to do and utilize all of the tools in this wonderful tool box that has been given to me so freely!!

Thank you for being a part of my recovery!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

Do we come by our Alcoholism or Addictions naturally?

I posted this on In The Rooms on June 15th, 2021.

I didn’t have my first drink until I was 17. Being in Texas I lived through the change in drinking age where it was 18 and then it changes to 21. But it really did not mean a thing to me because I was not a big drinker way back then.

When I was little, I remember my parents drinking occasionally. It was not until my father had an affair and moved out that I noticed that my mother drank much more. I never knew until my 40’s that I learned from my maternal grandmother that alcoholism does run in our family. My mother’s father had a problem with drinking, but he had the wherewithal to just put it down after my grandma gave him the ultimatum “You have until I come home at 3:30pm to decide between being at home with her and the kids and leaving for his beer.” As grandma told it, he never had another beer until they came to see us in Hawaii and we went to a baseball game and my dad wanted to buy him a beer and my grandma told him “You can have ONE beer” and that is all he had and never had another drop of alcohol until the day of his death April 2, 1976, at the age of 59.

I honestly did not become a big drinker until I got out of prison in 1990. I spent some time in a halfway house and then I got my own apartment and a job at Pizza Hut. I started making friends and then it happened that one night I had come home from the Houston area from seeing my family during Christmas 1990 when a man in a convertible offered me a ride home. As we were talking, he began to tell me how good looking I was and asked if I went out to the bars. I told him no, I didn’t know where they were. He proceeded to tell me that I would never have to buy my own drinks because of several reasons, but particularly one reason that is neither here nor there.

If I had known then what I know now and grew to know over so many years of relapse and recovery about how much alcoholism ran in my family, perhaps I could have derailed that train. That train was not derailed, in fact it took off like a speeding locomotive all because of how I was made to feel at the gay bars. Not only did the alcoholism and drug use grow exponentially over the years so did the sexual addiction to the point that I wreaked more havoc on my life by contracting HIV on a one night stand while in a long term relationship with my first partner in San Antonio.

At the same time, I saw my mother sinking further into the disease, not knowing what it was and being the biggest enabler for her because I used to take her out to the gay bars and help get her drunk. I bought her alcohol in my home and just did not realize how far down the rabbit hole my mother was and how naturally I came by this disease. Unfortunately, my mother’s drinking did not subside, and she passed away in part because of this disease on Mother’s Day May 10th, 1998. You would think that at that point knowing then what she went through, I would have gotten my act together. But, no, my drinking and using just got worse over the years even during my now over 21 1/2-year marriage to the most loving and caring individual that did not deserve my shenanigans over the years.

I am no longer ashamed to admit that I worked hard for sobriety from 2014 to September 14, 2016, and then threw that away when I quit doing everything I knew how to do. Today I am so proud to have over 28 months of sobriety because I now work and live “THE PROGRAM” of Alcoholics Anonymous – I no longer work and live “GREGORY’S PROGRAM” of Alcoholics Anonymous! I LOVE THIS PROGRAM and I will KEEP COMING BACK!

I now know that yes, this DISEASE is genetically acquired, and I have a choice today. I CHOOSE TO BE SOBER JUST FOR TODAY!!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

How do I live with myself in Sobriety?

I wrote this blog on September 7th, 2021 for a topic in a meeting that I was chairing and I posted on my profile on InTheRooms.com I wanted to share it here.

As usual I was sitting in a meeting in my other home group Global Steps A.A. and boom there it hit me.

How do I live with MYSELF in SOBRIETY?

This can be either a perfect question to answer or an extremely loaded question depending on whether or not we are WORKING THE PROGRAM OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

When I was drinking and using, I did not have the capacity to live with myself. I was trying to kill myself through all of the drinking and using that I did. I couldn’t stand who I was and not because I was gay; not because I had been thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS since January 1997; not because of issues that I was having with jobs, my husband and my family; I just couldn’t live with myself and I wanted to be gone.

That all changed this time around on January 4, 2020 when I woke up and said ENOUGH is ENOUGH! I truly meant it when I said I AM SICK AND TIRED of being SICK AND TIRED. I dived right in and became determined to WORK THE PROGRAM of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS and not work Gregory’s program any longer, because Gregory’s program has never worked.

So today, I am able to LIVE WITH MYSELF IN SOBRIETY. I am able to live with myself in sobriety because of all of those things mentioned above and the wonderful living amends that I have been making to my family, my job, and of course myself. You see living with myself began by me starting with FORGIVENESS for myself and to stop blaming others for everything else that I have done to myself and to them. I guarantee that anything that I did to them was not caused by them, it was caused by my own actions or inactions during my drinking and using.

Today, I may have tough days, but my worst days sober are so much more livable than my best days drinking and using. Today I look in the mirror and I say thank you to my Higher Power for granting me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change – I am an Alcoholic -; the courage to change the things I can – I do not have to drink or use today -; the wisdom to know the difference – the ability to step back and breathe when things are not going my way.

Today, I LOVE ME, ALL OF ME and I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me, why? Because if they ain’t paying my bills, I pay them no mind!!!!

Because of all of my fellows, my Higher Power whom I choose to call GOD and working the PROGRAM – I will stay SOBER JUST FOR TODAY!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

#SoCS 9/19/20 – Celebration

Linda has given us the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday of “-tion.”

Reverberation on CONGRATULATIONS are in order for me because I turned 54 on Monday 9/14 and I did it SOBER!! As many of you know Between February 14, 2014 and September 14, 2016, the day I turned 50, I had 2 1/2 years of sobriety and then the alcoholic in my sabotaged me and I hit every haunt and did everything and more the old alcoholic used to do. This in turn became a three day binge which became a major depression and being off of work for a few weeks. I have had a lot of issues with relapse and recovery since that time however today it 8 months and 15 days SOBER.

You have read on my blog before about my epiphany a few months ago, I love doing service, in fact I truly believe that in 2016 when I turned 50, the whole reasoning behind my major relapse and then continuing to have issues with relapse and recovery – was because I had gotten mad at folks in my home group the Goliad Group and my online group – and I quit doing any type of service.

You see, I always say, I cannot keep what I do not give away freely!!!!!! That is a true statement if I am doing some sort of service for my fellow alcoholics then I cannot keep my sobriety. Today I chair meetings at my face to face home group and in my online home group. I share in every meeting that I can, because I never know who I will touch with my words of experience, strength and hope.

Reverberation of CONGRATULATIONS also are in order for my home group the Goliad Group which had their first Alcoholics anonymous meeting on September 13, 1964 and today we will be having our 56th Anniversary BBQ CELEBRATION with a speaker who has 24 years of sobriety at 6:15PM. If you are in San Antonio and would like to join us – we will be serving at 4:30PM. There is a suggested $5 donation as well. We are at 537 Avondale, San Antonio 78223 and you can call us at (210) 534-3937 any time if you need to know when we have meetings etc.

I am proud to be SOBER JUST FOR TODAY!!! That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!

Late – #SoCS 7/18/20 – Link

This week Linda gave us the prompt of “link” for #SoCS. First of all I need to link my mental being with my writing being so that every Friday I read my email from Linda for #SoCS so that I write it either on Friday or first thing Saturday morning.

This week, I really do have a good excuse for being late. A few weeks ago I began working a new job at the University of the Incarnate Word and I had quit my job at 7-11 with the understanding I could be on call if they needed me on Friday or Saturday nights graveyard. That happened this week. So, Friday afternoon I got off at 5PM and went to bed for 4 1/2 hours and then went to work from 10PM to 6AM, came home and chaired an online meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous from 7AM – 8AM and then went to bed for 12 hours.

The day slipped away and it was not until this morning that I made a link that yesterday was Saturday and I again missed my writing a #SoCS post. I really am working to get better at making sure I link Saturday with writing at least one post, the one that matters – #SoCS.

That being said, I have made a very important link about me and my continued sobriety. I recently started serving as a chairperson of the Beginners meeting at the Goliad Group my home group and I recently got elected as the secretary of the group. I also began serving again as a chairperson for my online home group Global Steps AA that happens to just meet in the church of In The Rooms. I currently have one standing meeting per week that I am the chair of and I humbly accepted when two other chairpersons asked me to sub for them until they are ready to return to their meetings.

The link that I have made is that about a month before my 50th birthday on September 14th , 2016 I stopped doing any type of service work at my home group and my online home group after almost 2 1/2 years of sobriety. Because of this the dynamic of my sobriety changed, I had become prideful and I had lost my humility where it came to my sobriety. Because of this I know for a fact that there is a link between service work and sobriety. the link is this I CAN NOT KEEP WHAT I DO NOT GIVE AWAY FREELY!!!!

Today I know the ANSWER to my continued sobriety is HUMILITY, SELF-LOVE, SERVICE, the suggested program of Alcoholics Anonymous and my HIGHER POWER whom I choose to call God. I wanted to close with an excellent reminder from one of my favorite contemporary Cristian rock artists Jeremy Camp. Please enjoy this video of “The Answer”.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!!

Very Late #SoCS 6/13/20 – Nail

I apologize for posting this entry for #SoCS for 6/13/20, for which Linda provided the prompt of NAIL on Wednesday 6/17/20, however I have been wanting to write this post but I just did not have a chance to do so until now. A lot happened in the last week that has definitely been a great thing. Since losing my job on May 28th I have been utilizing every job site and even stepped out of my box and applied at 7-11 and Circle K.

Long story short I applied to a local 7-11 franchise store and the owner texted me on Wednesday 6/10 and asked me to come in. I went in on Thursday morning 6/11, they spoke to me for five minutes and then handed me a new hire packet which I brought home and filled out. I returned the packet a little later that morning and that afternoon, I was the schedule for Friday from 8 AM – 4 PM. I did my first day of training on Friday and then Friday I was asked to go in for my normal graveyard shift because someone had called in, and I did. I am adjusting to the new work schedule as well as new sleep schedule while still maintaining my normal activities to ensure I do not allow the proverbial nail of drinking to creep into my mind.

As I often write about the fact that I am and will always be an alcoholic. My being an alcoholic is not the nail in my framework or the proverbial coffin. That nail becomes real if I ever begin to think that I have this disease licked or if I ever determine that I drink like a normal person. If I ever pick up that first drink I will truly be putting that nail into my coffin because, while I may have another drunken bender in me – I do not have another recovery in me and I do I believe that the disease of alcohol will kill me before the HIV/AIDS that I have thriving with, not just surviving with for 23 years or anything else that is within my control.

As long as I am doing the right things – talking to my sponsor, attending both face to face with the Goliad Group or the LAMBDA Group here in San Antonio and online meetings of Global Steps Alcoholics Anonymous on In The Rooms, doing service in those groups by chairing meetings – greeting in meetings – and sharing in meetings, continuing in my Catholic faith and asking my Higher Power whom I choose to call God to help me each day JUST FOR TODAY to help keep me sober and to do HIS WILL and not my own, and thanking my Higher Power at the end of the day for doing so – then I will be able to ensure that the proverbial NAIL of alcoholism and taking that first drink will not come.

So today “No Matter What It Takes” I will do it to ensure that I do not put that proverbial NAIL in any aspect of my life. Please enjoy this lyric video of Jeremy Camp’s No Matter What It Takes.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!

#FOWC 2/16/19 – Paradise

IMG_1186

Today my paradise consists of hanging out with the five four-legged babies pictured Crissy, Zailey, Little Bitty, Sadie and Stitchy. But my paradise also is made up of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and “Trusting God, Cleaning House and Helping Others” just one day at a time.

I am truly blessed and in my paradise with my husband who continues to amaze me with his support and love throughout all of the wreckage of my past. So I will continue to build on this paradise and now it really is time to clean my house – not the physical house, but the alcoholic house so we can get it in order!!!

fowc

#FOWC 2/16/19 Paradise

#FOWC 2/15/19 – Variety

Related image

I am a very proud member of Alcoholic’s Anonymous and the most wonderful thing about this program is the absolutely unending variety of EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH and HOPE to be gained by an unending variety of individuals. These individuals are celebrating any where from one day of recovery to even 39 years and more of recovery.

For me recovery variety is the spice of life!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

fowc

#FOWC 2/15/19- Variety

Love Is In Da Blog 17 ~ A Love Song from 2019 – “Changed”

Full disclosure – I do not listen to the radio. I get all of my music on iHeartRadio and all my stations are either country or contemporary Christian. I often will not hear a song until it is released onto iHeartRadio even if the song came out in  the previous year. My song today did hit the airwaves in mid 2018 but I just recently heard it. It is Jordan Feliz’s “Changed”.

This song is a constant reminder that through the love and grace of God,the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and the unending love of Cruz, my family and friends – I am CHANGED and can remain so!!!

For your viewing pleasure a LIVE performance!

LYRICS

Let me tell you, oh my friends
About this joy I’m living in
Let me take the mic, I wanna testify
How I was dead, and then I came to life
No more living in the dark of night, now everything’s all right

I’ve been cha-a-anged
I’ve been saved
Brand new day, I’ve been changed
I’ve been changed
Tell me why would I turn back now
There’s no end to the love I’ve found
Future’s bright, and there ain’t no doubt
I’ve been changed, I’ve been changed

All my heartbreak fades away
Like a book when you turn the page
Let me take the mic, I wanna testify
How I was dead, and then I came to life
No more living in the dark of night, now everything’s all right

Ooh, ooh
I’ve been changed, he-ah

I put my hands in the air ‘cause I know You’re there
(Your love did something magical)
I put my hands in the air ‘cause You heard my prayer
(A transformation radical)
I put my hands in the air ‘cause I know You’re there
(I know it’s supernatural)
I put my hands in the air ‘cause You heard my prayer
Loveisindablog

Love Is In Da Blog 17 ~ A Love Song from 2019 & Prompt Post for February 18th

A New 30 Day Chip!!!

Some weekends just fall right into place and everything you do or say is right on time. This weekend was one of those weekends. It has been very cold in San Antonio for the last few days which has given me the chance to work on a couple of things and to celebrate one new very important thing. I write often and say how I am an open book and while I understand that a lot of what I write or even talk about may be a hinderance to my current situation of looking for employment in my field even though I am working with Social Security for Disability.

If does not come through and I must keep fighting or re-apply in a few months – then I must be able bring money into our home. When I am not working, I feel very useless and unproductive because I am not one to truly rely on anybody unless I just must. Unfortunately, over the years because of my depression, bipolar affectation disorder, chronic spine issues and of course my issues of chronic relapse, there have plenty of times that I have had to be totally reliant upon my husband. Mind you, Cruz has been a true angel and savior for me, but I do not like putting that pressure on him.

So back to this last weekend. On Saturday I spent most of the day working on the layout of “My Rattled Cage” and I am in love with the way it looks and the new additions to the site. Sunday, I started off in the “Each One Teach One” video meeting with Global Steps AA on InTheRooms.com, Then I went to 8AM mass at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, which is a every Sunday routine for me. After I attended the “A Spiritual Life” video meeting.

30DayChip

The most important thing that I did was to attend a Closed Meeting with my home group, The Goliad Group to pick up a BRAND-NEW 30-Day Chip. I am truly blessed that I have a meeting place that is less than 10 minutes from my house. I more blessed because no matter how long it takes me to get back to my home group, they always welcome me with open arms. That is the greatest thing about the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, no matter if you are going to a face to face meeting or attending online video meetings – you are always welcomed back and strongly encouraged to “Keep Coming Back, It Works if you Work It!!!”

FullSerenityPrayer

This morning as I was preparing to write this post, I was searching for a good picture of the Serenity Prayer and I actually found the full version and it just reminded me that yes the promises can come true if you simply work the program and keep your relationship with your Higher Power, whom I choose to call God.

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!