March Madness

wtf?!? is she lying face up? or down? are those boobs? omg this is so my life right now


As the previous post would indicate, faith is important in recovery.  This post will document that sometimes it’s very difficult to practice these steps in all of our affairs.  HOLY SHIT BALLS.  I know I posted about faith just scant days ago but I also think accountability and honesty are important so I’ll admit that I’m having some difficulty in ACCEPTING what I cannot change right now . . . and struggling with faith in that the universe has GOT THIS, in the interim.  Motherfucker.

As you may recall, I’m currently between jobs.  I was laid off last Fall and have been temping intermittently since. Naturally, it’s a nightmare.  So I’ve been trying to CALM THE F DOWN and apply for jobs I’m way overqualified for and even grovel for the occasional interview on Craigslist, because it’s officially come to that.  Jesus.  I know, I know, what a “great opportunity” for growth and starting over, and how refreshing to “re-invent” my career path at this age, but COME ON PEOPLE right now it’s just a huge pain in the ass for this bitter old drunk trying to revamp her resume AT FIFTY.  Is Snapchat considered a skill these days because I don’t freaking have it.

Anyway, I had an interview yesterday at an industrial company. It’s some sort of administrative position, they all blur together these days, but as soon as I pulled up to the joint and glanced about the parking lot I knew I was in trouble. I spotted a Trump/Pence bumper sticker right off the bat and a sparkly little snippet of hope inside me died. I opened the door to the office and FOXNews was blaring forth from inside*.  Oh, no.  There’s a moment in the wild where this type of phenomenon happens, and I think it’s called “flight or fight” or something, but in reality, I did neither . . . I just kinda floundered at my predicament. The Big Boss himself interviewed me, and for the love of Barbra Streisand, I kinda liked the asshole. He was a burly guy with an easy manner and a dynamite smile. Besides not having any respect for him whatsoever and disagreeing with the core of his humanity, he seemed like a cool enough guy. . . but not one I’d want to work for, but there I was. . . nodding along and wondering how much of my black shiny soul I’d have to sacrifice for health insurance benefits.

The whole experience was humbling and soul sucking but there was a total DROP THE MIC moment in the warehouse when I correctly identified the song “Thunder Kiss ’65” by White Zombie blasting from the boom box (no shit y’all it was an actual old school boom box) and two of the guys by the forklifts clapped and laughed.  Now, if you’ve EVER in your life heard White Zombie’s song “Thunder Kiss ’65”, you KNOW the damn song so it’s not that perceptive or amazing or anything but I guess when you’re a 50-something sharply dressed woman applying for a shitty admin job in a rundown industrial park across from the shooting range, it’s somewhat unexpected when you dump that knowledge on some unsuspecting dock workers.  Judge not, boys.

renaissance man, Rob Zombie of White Zombie

Anyway, I came home and took off my bra and laid face down on the floor in front of the tv.  This seemed like the appropriate conclusion of my afternoon.  When I awoke I was in the midst of a Lifetime movie starring Lisa Whelchel (YES, Blair from the tv show The Facts of Life) and I started to get sucked in and that was the moment right then and there I decided that I was going to have to fight through the despair and general malaise that this day has brought upon me.  But it was fucking Blair (!) so it was super hard to turn it off, and you know in retrospect she has really aged well save for some puffiness around her eyes, and really, who am I to throw stones – but I DID turn it off and decided to promptly go to my little neighborhood yarn shop where I get most of my advice (solicited and otherwise) and sage wisdom because surely to God the company of real honest to goodness people would be better than holing up in isolation with Blair from The Facts of Life.   The next movie up starred WINNIE COOPER from “The Wonder Years”, I shit you not – so in effect, I had to flee my home like a scalded dog lest you find me going fetal in a fuzzy blanket wondering if Tootie has any movies under her belt these days.

After knitting for a spell I decided to go to my local meditation group and I’m new to meditation so I have no idea what I’m doing but I feel like I damn sure should be doing it so let’s keep an open mind, shall we?  I figured if ANYONE needed some Zen it was certainly me and even if I don’t “get it” I’m still sitting in silence for an hour and *attempting* to listen and that’s got to be good for the world as a whole.  So, I wanted to post this post as an accountability post in that I do NOT always practice what the fuck I preach. I don’t have the answers.  Yes, now I have tools at my disposal, but I don’t always use them. Sometimes you just want to freak out and be terrified and apocalyptic and wallow but you know what?  THAT SERVES NOTHING, NO ONE, NO POINT.  Except that I want to sometimes. Badly.

So I sat in silence. I tried to keep my mind tuned to the present. I struggled not to think about my impending bankruptcy and consequent homelessness, or compose a grocery list in my head, or worry that I’ll have some weird facial spasm and appear to suddenly be having a stroke while surrounded by all of these nice enlightened folks.  And you know what? In that quiet hour, nothing about my situation changed, but when my boots hit the parking lot, I felt lighter – inside AND out.

Like I’ve said – faith, my friends, is like a DUI checkpoint – just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.  I wrestle with it often, fight with it always, but impossibly, the net catches me anyway.


*I first typed “blaring froth” instead of “forth” and I almost left it

** this really has to be the only missive in existence that mentions Lisa Whelchel and Rob Zombie in the same post and for that, YOU ARE WELCOME.

You gotta have faith

So in continuance with my monthly theme, I’m going to leap (omg I am so clever) in here with Step 3, which, depending on  your beliefs, could possibly be a tough one to navigate. Firstly though, let me emphasize that I am not advocating one type of recovery or program over another – right now in my sobriety I’m at a point where I have to believe that however you choose to get sober is your business.  There are so many options and resources these days, that if it works, work it, I say. . . unless you have some sort of fucked up deal where you repeatedly flog yourself every time you think about a drink in which case you need more help than my little narcissistic blog can provide.  But, if you’re a run of the mill drunk like myself, listen up.

Step THREE.  I have been summarizing all the steps of a 12 Step Recovery programs with just one word.  Step 3 in the Alcoholics Anonymous  program reads “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.”   This is typically the NUMBER ONE complaint I hear when folks tell me they want to stick their big toe in the AA wading pool.  They don’t believe in God or they don’t really like God, or they are sick and tired of God, or they don’t want God anywhere near their sobriety, and I can understand all of this.  And I’ve found that the “as we understood him” caveat doesn’t help folks that, well, don’t understand Him. The perceived God of my childhood isn’t the same God of my adult life so I get  that people get prickly when the Big Guy in the Sky is mentioned. I think it’s kinda like Obamacare. If they had just called it something else, maybe it would’ve gone over better, you know?  The premise was a good one, it’s just the name didn’t do it any favors. Maybe it’s the preconceived notion of the word “GOD” that gives everyone the heebie jeebies?

I like to summarize Step 3 with one word: Faith. You don’t have to believe in God – in fact, if you do struggle with the God thing  you can absolutely substitute the words “power greater than ourselves.”  Alcoholics only have to acknowledge that they need and are going to willingly accept help.  WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT HELP.  That’s a big one so that’s why I went ALL CAPS on your ass there. You can also use “higher power” and that’s a little more ambiguous and enigmatic. If you experience gratitude, you indeed possess a whispery thread of a higher power, for if you are grateful, you acknowledge that there is something out of your control and larger than you in a universal sense in which to thank for your fortituitous circumstance, or blessing, or what have you.  And no, I have not been smoking weed this morning no matter how you read or interpret that sentence.  I’ve tried to edit it but I’m going to just leave it there and stand by it.

Let me also interject here that I have also come across some folks that do NOT want to accept that they were powerless against their addictions. They want to RECLAIM that power in their recovery  – but I also think that in my case, declaring the powerlessness is WHAT GAVE ME POWER, if that makes things even more confusing for you.  Alcoholism had to bring me to my knees, figuratively, AND somewhat literally, especially if you count the ONE AND ONLY time I’ve ever had an enema – but this is not the time or the place for that shit, literally.  Someone in a meeting recently said that alcoholics are much like boxers. We stay in the ring and get the ever loving shit beaten out of us, repeatedly, yet as the referee starts to count us out, we continue to rise, bloody and beaten and ready to fight yet again because THIS TIME we’ll win, we’re sure.  It’ll be different this time, right!?!  This is The Drunkards equivalent of saying “it’ll be different when they are OUR kids”, as young would-be parents will speculate and ultimately lie to themselves.  I laughed out loud when the guy that shared this ended his simile with “I’ve figured out the trick of this alcoholism thing . . . just STAY DOWN“.

Faith can be the quiet belief way down deep in yourself that understands that this isn’t who you are, and this is NOT who you are supposed to be.  Often we drunks lose faith in ourselves and our worthiness of recovery.  Faith can be the reticent hope that things will get better if you are willing to accept help.  A belief deep in your soul that has been covered up with deceit, lies and shame.  It takes a faith to “unbecome” something, trust me, but you can do it. Sometimes the path through alcoholism can lead you to discover your true self, and other times, it will remind you of who you once were.  Whatever your story is, it matters. As do you.

Have faith. Remember, without the dark we’d never see the stars.