New Sponsor, New Work

I’ve asked a guy here to be my sponsor. I heard him talk at a Sunday meeting I attend and could relate to his story quite a bit. He mentioned his home group – a big book step study – and invited us to join him there on Wednesdays. This was right before Xmas and when I thanked him for his share after the meeting I asked where to find it.

Two weeks later I found myself at the Wednesday night Big Book Study and they were on step 9 – the lead referenced the book, the participants did too and it was a good meeting. There was even talk of traditions and a reading from a pamphlet.

The group puts on a retreat in April, I went to the committee meeting about it and became intrigued. The next week i heard they were going to have a business meeting/group conscience so I went to that to help decide – it was then that I decided to make it my home group. I volunteered to be the Grapevine rep and joined a Traditions breakfast committee that we’re putting on in April.

I’m excited to be a part of this group.

I met the guy I asked to be my sponsor on Saturday morning to see if we both thought it would work out. We met for an hour and a half and chatted about all kinds of things. He has some different takes on things than I’m used to but I’m willing to listen and open to change. He has what I want – a knowledgable calm… best way I can describe it.

He says we’re going to look at the steps together around “the big three” in my life right now… and my job is to identify them so we can begin… scary, interesting and challenging to me and foreign ….

We’ll see how it all plays out, but I’m hopeful that I’ll continue to change and grow.


Surprising Beginnings

My sponsor gave me directions when I hired him:

  1. 1. Shake everyones hand before and after each meeting
  2. 2. Go to the Northside Group every week – no matter what

So that’s how I found myself at the Northside meeting on a Sunday night, following sponsor direction I was there and he had assured me he’d give me a ride home. But at the end of the meeting he had forgotten (actually he had relapsed and we just didn’t know it yet) and asked someone else to give me a ride.

That person was Suzanne W. Who I knew as one of the pretty girls at the meeting, but I don’t really care about girls so whatever. She agreed to give me a ride back to the treatment center.

As we approached the cars in the parking lot she walked towards a white Z and we climbed in (she loved that car). Very sporty and I think with a t top.

All the way to the treatment center she talked and I swear she wasn’t watching the road, she was looking at me and talking and talking and talking… and in a New York accent I could barely understand at all. The whole trip I was watching the speedometer and I swear we were doing 300…. ok, maybe I was nervous…. we were going super fast and she just knew how to look at me and the road and talk (and maybe smoke – we were both smokers back then) all at the same time….

scariest ride of my life!

That was almost 20 years ago… in June of 1994 I think. That crazy girl from New York became my best friend and while she still does that thing of looking at me and the road and going hundreds of miles over the speed limit (I exaggerate) she’s such a different person now…

you should all be so lucky to have such a friend and you never know where these types of things are going to come from.

love you Zanaramadingdong

Pondering in the Dark

The kiss was electric, sounds cliche I know, but it was that kiss that changed it all. It was our first date and I couldn’t tell if he liked me at all, I decided to take a chance and ask for a kiss. He turned, grabbed a hold of me and gave me one of the best kisses I’d ever had – I felt good from my head to my toes and I wanted more, all of his kisses were like that.  As we were moving forward with the wedding plans, because I said yes, a thought occurred that disturbed me:

I have to care about being alive and now I have to try to stay alive longer.

That was the lingering thought during the rest of the engagement – the kiss was electric, the sex ok… but having someone to live for… not something I had thought about, it was an inconvenience. That isn’t to say that I don’t have other people in my life, but none of them need me to stick around. When you commit to someone else “for life”, til death do us part and all that jazz… then you should actually try to be there with them as long as you can.

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ or ‘how very perceptive’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.”  The character “Rose Walker” in The Sandman #65

So, kind of happy that that all didn’t work out. I figure 15 more years is all I really want (I don’t think want is the right word).

I was re-reading the Harry Potter series over the holiday break and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was obsessed with living forever and I just can’t relate… after a while you’ve done everything you really wanted to do, what the hell would you stick around for? It’s different if you have kids or that other person I suppose, then you’re rather obligated to be there as long as you can. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had none of that, he had worshipers and fear but why would that be worth sticking around for, I think it would get boring.

I’m not seeking death, not yet anyway (give me 15 years), and this isn’t a “cry for help” it’s just casual observations from my mind. The only thing that seems really suicidal in my own behavior lately has been a weird craving to buy a pack of cigarettes – WTF is that about? no clue

“Life is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.”
― Neil Gaiman

Then if you bring religions into it and we talk about afterlife or reincarnation – I just can’t grasp why that would be something you’d want. Here I am, having lived a life to it’s fullest (or as full as I cared to muster), then I’m dead and wait… what? now I have to sit around on a cloud for eternity (oh wait I’m gay… burn in hell for eternity). What’s appealing about that. They say things like “spend eternity with the ones you love”….. Seriously, I love my family and friends, but I can only take so much of them before I need to get away… if you want to give me something to look forward to in an afterlife, give it some rocking special effects or great music or excitement… you know, the stuff I was supposed to be searching for and enjoying in life. And reincarnation… why would I want to do it again? Hell no.

“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

In this life I’ve done all those things I’ve wanted to do, someone asked me once “Like what?” I’ve sung at the Kennedy Center, had a story or two published, loved someone so much it hurts, escaped the cold winters of WI, made amends for the mistakes in my past and learned to be myself.

I think that’s enough.

Review, Renew, and then Redo

Last year was full of change.

Yeah, it was an interesting year. I look back and think that I am really glad that I moved to Phoenix. Do I miss my friends and my cat in DC? Yes, but I like my new friends here and Gary send me pictures of my cat, I know she’s ok.

I had my first summer here and the temperatures got pretty hot as far as I was concerned it was 118 on June 29th and that was pretty uncomfortable, but I really didn’t mind it until it surpassed 115. The coldest day that we had that I was here was of course my birthday, December 6th, and it was 37 degrees… I was miserable anyway so didn’t notice to much. I didn’t like the few days that were humid at all, the dry heat is really what makes this place so nice for me.

Besides the weather here, which I really love, what I like most about Phoenix is the A.A. There are so many more options here than there were in DC and they are a lot less politically correct than DC. Are they big book thumping, tradition defending meetings? well not yet, but they are a refreshing change to what I found in DC.

As I reflect on what happened in the last year and start to look forward to the New Year, I find that I want many of the same things that I had happen to me in 2013. I’m hopeful that this is going to be a better year and full of change!

Happy New Year to you!