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This morning’s blog is dedicated to Bill, with all of my love and gratitude. Thank you Bill.

Good morning everyone. Happy Thursday. I am definitely in a place of reflection this morning, as I end my morning meditation. I am humble. I am giving my mind some much needed time off to allow my soul to dance and my heart to take the lead. This morning I am deep in gratitude for my sobriety. As I approach my fifth birthday, I remember the holidays and the last days before I quit drinking. Many of you knew me then. I didn’t ever not have a beer and a cigarette in my hand. I was fun and jovial enough I suppose…only I wasn’t really there at all. Bottle after bottle and night after night…day after day and dusk into dawn…I was drowning in a beer bottle somewhere. My life…my existence and my sanity depended upon it. My wellness and my mental stability was only to be found if I had enough drink to drown the demons. My demons are fierce and so I drank a lot in an effort to drown them. Demons do not drown. Demons thirst for our weakness and our sickness. Every drop I drank to drown the little fuckers gave them fuel to come back with a mother fucking vengeance. I didn’t know it then…as I thought I had control of them…that they were tossing me about and mocking me…”what a fool is she…to drown herself to kill us off…what a sad sad girl, drinking poison and expecting us to die…bet she never figures it out before she drinks enough to drown herself…”Relentless little fuckers…daring and cunning…baffling and taunting…and I played right into their hands every single time.

I got out of the shower this morning and looked in the mirror. I hardly ever do that. The reflection of a little old man was looking back at me…wise and seemingly frail and fragile…bent over a bit and pressing his beads through his tiny fingertips…I blinked and looked again and there I was, on his lap, learning how to begin to know myself.

The drink took the edge off. The mirror mattered not because I couldn’t see me anyway. I spent more time around people back then…I guess I don’t want to be alone. I know now that there will never be enough people to fill the void…the need for more…the hole into the great abyss that knows no bounds…the hole that left a void simply by my inability to see it. This morning in meditation, Rumi sat beside me and he reminded me that I’ve work in me that the world needs…love that needs a voice so desperately…drunk only ever again on the love of Rumi, the divine…you and myself…I am the light that we have all been waiting for. I am the beacon in the darkness that once consumed me. I am because you are. Ubuntu.

Today we have a choice that we didn’t give ourselves yesterday. Maybe your demons kicked your ass again last night? Maybe because that is so, today seems helpless too? I mean fuck it, right? Technically, you were drinking until 3:00am or so and so you already fucked today’s possibility of being sober…wait until tomorrow and try again, right? I’ve done the same dance. In rhythm only to myself…a dance that lasted a little over forty years…which I now affectionately call the dance of the dead.

I needed a brush up this morning and so I looked this up. I share it with you now. Maybe you too needed a brush up? Maybe you have never seen this?

“The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

The relative success of the AA program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for “reaching” and helping an uncontrolled drinker,

In simplest form, the AA program operates when a recovered alcoholic passes along the story of his or her own problem drinking, describes the sobriety he or she has found in AA, and invites the newcomer to join the informal Fellowship.

The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Newcomers are not asked to accept or follow these Twelve Steps in their entirety if they feel unwilling or unable to do so.

They will usually be asked to keep an open mind, to attend meetings at which recovered alcoholics describe their personal experiences in achieving sobriety, and to read AA literature describing and interpreting the AA program.

AA members will usually emphasize to newcomers that only problem drinkers themselves, individually, can determine whether or not they are in fact alcoholics.

At the same time, it will be pointed out that all available medical testimony indicates that alcoholism is a progressive illness, that it cannot be cured in the ordinary sense of the term, but that it can be arrested through total abstinence from alcohol in any form.”

Thank you Alcoholics Anonymous for this information…for this reminder and for the opportunity you have given me to find myself.

On January 2nd, 2018, I will be five years sober…five years old…five years blessed…five years thankful. I will be taking my five year chip on Friday at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Albuquerque. My first AA meeting was very powerful for me. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since I walked into the doors of AA. I want you to have what I have. I want you to be there to take your 24 hour desire chip with me…to take your 30 day chip with me…I want you to know that I’m right here if you need to reach out. Call me. Text me. You know how to find me and I invite you to find me should you need to. I asked Tamara why this is so heavy on my heart? Why is this my blog? My life right now…This is hitting home for me right now, as I remember who I was five years ago, this week, the week before I ever entertained the idea of walking through the doors of an AA meeting…before my mom was dead…Ya, this is hitting home for me right now.

I am on my knees in front of my altar…thanking God…thanking my brothers and sisters…friends of Bill and those of you waiting to meet Bill…for the serenity I have in my life because someone else cared enough to take the time to tell their story…to heal us all. Thank you Bill. From the depths of my heart and from the deepest place in my soul…thank you for taking the time to write it down, to sort it out…to share it so that we could all have what you have. I love you. Thank you.