Friday, January 1, 2010

New Day, New Year

This morning's reading in "One Day at a Time," an Al-Anon book of daily readings, really spoke to me. It said:

"This year is a book of clean blank pages on which I will write a record of my experiences and my growth through the daily use of the Al-Anon idea.... If I allow myself to be influenced by what the alcoholic says and does, it will make blots and smears on the pages of my year. This I will try to avoid at all costs.

Today's Reminder: I can live my life only one day at a time. Perhaps my confusion and despair are so great that I will have to take it one hour at a time, or one minute at a time, reminding myself constantly that I have authority over no life but my own.

'Realizing that nothing can hurt me while I lean upon my Higher Power, I ask to be guided through the hours and minutes of each day. Let me remind myself to bring every problem to Him for I know He will show me the way I must go.'"

I picked up my daughter (aka my qualifier) from the airport last night. I was on the phone with my sponsor within the half-hour. I might have called sooner--like within the first five minutes--except my daughter and I were in the car together. As soon as I got us to the house, I went in search of a private spot to make the call.

So today, the idea of clean fresh pages seemed particularly appealing to me. I need to remind myself that I need not be influenced by what my alcoholic says or does. I want to remember to stop when doubtful or agitated and ask my higher power for the next right thought or action.

But having a good sponsor really helps me to sort out what the next right thought or action is.

I have to confess that my problem was partly one of expectations. Expectations of what this visit would be like. That she might be different and at least I would be. I had envisioned us coming together cumbaya like, holding hands and singing songs.

What was I thinking?

This disease is cunning, baffling and powerful, and it's been doing push ups in the back of my head just waiting for an opportunity. It nearly threw me. But I picked up the phone and my sponsor answered, and in about five minutes I was back on the beam.

That five minute conversation changed everything. Don't ask me how. It's a mystery to me. But I came out of the room and had a very different conversation with my daughter. She behaved differently when I behaved differently. It's a little spooky really, how well the tools of this program work when you use them.

I can only say that my sponsor helped me sort out what was reasonable, what was my part, what wasn't. She makes it sound so easy, so reasonable, I always hang up the phone wondering why I couldn't figure that out myself. It was so obvious.

And, always, after I talk to my sponsor, I feel calm, my problems right sized.

So today on my gratitude list, item number one is that I have a wise sponsor. That she picked up the phone. That she gave me the guidance that I needed, so that today might, indeed, be a clean page. Fresh, with no mistakes in it.

Later today, my husband, my daughter and I will leave town for a few days. There is no internet service, so I won't be posting. But there is cellphone service. I have my sponsor's number on speed dial. Two more things to be grateful for.

Wishing you a year full of things to be grateful for.


  1. I can't help but wonder what would have happened if the sponsor had not picked up the phone. Seriously. Your conversations with her change your behavior. How so? I hope one day you'll write about that. I love that you are working on you.

  2. Hi Kathy,
    Totally related to your post. I have left my counselors office sometimes and thought. He only said one thing. Why couldn't I figure that out. :)
    I guess God is showing me that I need others. I have blind spots.
    Thanks for posting this.....Good reminders for me with my Dad. (qualifier)
    See you when you get back.


  3. It's great that your sponsor answered the phone. And it's super that you were healthy enough to phone her in the first place. Sometimes I find that's the hardest step. Here's to a year of healthy behavior...

  4. Kathy, wonderful post! Glad you were able to follow through in contacting your sponsor! Dear one enjoy your time away, and will wait for your return. Blessings and safe hugs to you and yours!