Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Grandbaby Blogging - and 20 Years of Sobriety



I'm in celebration mode today. Today marks 20 years clean and sober in Alcoholics Anonymous which, frankly, is a complete surprise. For those of you who are not alcohlic drinkers, you don't have any idea what it is like to be unable to function without alcohol or drugs - that, combined with a clear understanding that to continue drinking and using the way I did, I would surly die. And twenty years ago, death looked quite attractive to me. I could not go one step further.

I had long avoided AA, because I believed it was a cult for White, Male, Christian, Low-Bottom Homeless drunks. Besides, I'm Jewish; we're not. I knew I had to drink because it was the only way to turn off the voices in my head. I had to drink because you pissed me off. I had to drink because it was Tuesday. I had to drink to stay numb. Invisible. I was half a mother; I was half a wife; I was less than half a person.

Had I continued drinking, I would have found a way to committ suicide. I had reached the stage of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that only an alcohlic at bottom can understand. I found AA by accident; my eskimo is no longer sober.

The last 20 years have not been easy. I've been divorced for 17 years; I filed bankruptcy five years ago and am actually teetering on the edge again. I am leaving a steady paycheck for the unstable world of commission only at a time when our economy is in the toilet but it is something I just know is the right choice. I am terrified about it, as it is an unknown, but sober, I know that I will be alright. I've never been successful financially, so I have no safety net, and still I have faith that this will work. I have a god of my understanding which is personal, and so I don't talk much about it.

But now, with 20 years of Recovery, I am a grandmother to the most amazing child I've ever known. And I am not half a grandmother. I am happily and usefully whole, and a positive influence on Beanie, even though she's in Chicago and I'm in Los Angeles. She calls me. She talks about me all the time. When I am with her, I am 100% whole and with her. I am relied upon, and this makes me so grateful I cannot tell you. Beanie is the most tangible gift I've received in sobriety. I have a rich, full life, with friends and family - and this perfect grandchild who is truly the love of my life.

For all this, and more, I am very grateful.

33 comments:

FranIAm said...

What a gorgeous child, what a gorgeous day this is.

I wish you peace, hope, continued healing and sobriety, I wish you light and love in great abundance, I wish you surrender, I wish you grace and I wish you joy.

Know that in my prayers(if I may say it that way), in my heart and thoughts for you, I walk with you, my friend.

Agi said...

Congratulations and happy sober anniversary!

DrDon said...

Congrats Diva. Fundamental change is never easy but the ability to do it is one of my favorite human qualities (and there's not much I admire about the species).

DCup said...

What a hopeful post!

Congratulations on your sobriety and finding a way to save yourself form self-destruction.

It sounds like you're an incredible grandmother and your presence in Beanie's life is as much a gift to her as it is to you.

okjimm said...

Cool! Very Cool. I'll buy you a root beer! Or a cream soda. I would offer a donut, too, but I ate them on the way to the office. Sorry.

Twenty years is a long time, and so is tomorrow. I am sure that you will have many great tomorrows.

Border Explorer said...

How can I be so fond of someone I've never met?
Congratulations! What an accomplishment. I celebrate your 20 years.
I trust your process. I'm with you as you launch into commission work.
Beanie is beautiful.

DivaJood said...

FranIAm, thank you - and yes, you can say it that way. :) It's the road of happy destiny.

Agi, thank you - it's a big effing deal, believe me.

drdon, well, humans shed their entire skin what is it, every seven years? That's change. Thank you!

DCup, it's a complete gift. Now if only I could afford that Vespa.

okjimm, as long as it's that really good draft root beer, then I will be your BFF. As for the donuts, what kind of campaign guy are you? Donuts are essential to the Diva Campaign for Prezilnut. As for tomorrow, well, I'll think about that tomorrow.

DivaJood said...

Border Explorer, that's the joy of blogging, to make friends we've never met. Thank you, my dear.

robin andrea said...

Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of your journey, divajood. You have traveled far in every way possible.

What a delight it is to see beautiful Beanie.

Randal Graves said...

From your campaign manager, I second everyone's good wishes. Your granddaughter is illegally cute and I'll have a toast to you tonight. Of water. It's hot as hell! ;-)

Just remember, if the world ever starts to suck ass in that special Republican administration kind of way, we're here for venting purposes.

DivaJood said...

Robin, thank you. I'm really happy about it all today. And Beanie is getting really, really adorable.

Randal, I need a platform to run on. I think it should be "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition." No, wait, that's McCain's platform. Thank you - and I do love the innerwebs for venting porpises.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Congratulations...and great post. You are a strong person! You will be fine despite the scariness of change and i have a feeling it will all work out. What a cute Beanie baby...

Mary Ellen said...

Oh my! What a great day it is for you, Congratulations! I have so much respect for you and how you've turned your life around. And you couldn't ask for a better gift than that grandchild of yours, she's an absolute angel and she will learn so much from you.

All my good thoughts are with you today and everyday that you fight this battle.

DivaJood said...

Maria, grandchildren are so much better than children! Really. Thank you - it is going to be an interesting trip.

ME, thank you - I've actually done nothing on my own, it's taken a lot of guidance from others before me. As for Beanie, she's three - so that makes her the occassional devil child, but I adore her.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Congratulations, dear Jude! Twenty years - wow. What an accomplishment.

Thanks for sharing your amazing story and the photo your beautiful Beanie. You're lucky to have each other.

Yours in peace,
Pagan

Liberality said...

drat...blogger ate my comment! so let's try it again shall we.

well I will just second and third what everyone else has said here. Congrats and good luck with the future job!

Blueberry said...

Toasting your success with a delicious raspberry tea! Glad you made it back. Cheers!

eProf2 said...

Jood, "one day at a time!" A cliche but such wisdom. Your personal story today should make all of us take note of our own fragile place. If you haven't been to Border's blog today, it has Sting's Fragilidad for us to hear. Have a great weekend with the little one.

D.K. Raed said...

It could not be a better day for a better person with a better porpoise. You are so porpoisefull, I am crying ... so I will drink my tears in celebration for you, Diva. You wear it well (Madame Onassis got NUTHIN' on you)! BTW, "Wear It Well" could be your campaign slogan? Just an idear...

Coffee Messiah said...

Congratulations on everything and for now being 100% there. A great accomplishment.

As far as being on the edge, many of us are now in the same boat. I've not had the comfort of a comfortable paycheck for the last 2 yrs.

What the hell, enjoy things despite it all. And of course, family and friends, although won't pay the bills, give much more in return than $$$$$$ does anyway.

Cheers!

enigma4ever said...

Congratulations...I am so proud of you and to know you and that you are here and that you can share this with us...this strong amazing woman that you are...I would hate to think of you not being here...you are a Gift....always...

many many hugs...

DivaJood said...

Pagan, thank you. And the best part was the chocolate cake at dinner. Peanut Butter filling. Crunchy. Yes, I have a sweet tooth.

Lib, blogger has been eating a lot of my comments of late. Too strange by half. Thank you. The work thing is like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. No net.

Blueberry, I thank you. Believe me, the chocolate cake was excellent.

eProf, I wish I WAS in Chicago right now, but alas, not. Besides, Beanie has gone away for the weekend with her daddy. But the one day at a time thingie - it works, it really does.

DK, life without porpise is fishy indeed. And "wear it well" could be a nifty campaign song - where's okjimm with the donuts? Thank you, m'dear.

Coffee, I'm not 100% anywhere. Except, wherever I go, there I am. Or something. Still, thank you. And yes, while family and friends won't pay the bills, they are good for emotional support. This work thing is flat out scary.

Enigma, thank you. I don't feel much like it today, as I am getting ready to head into the "old" office for the onslaught of crazy callers. This is going to be a long month.

Katie Schwartz said...

CONGRATULATIONS. I'm so proud of you. What an awesome, outstanding accomplishment. This post is beautiful. Having faith in yourself and to love and be loved, you're gonna be great, kid. I just know it.

Mathman6293 said...

Great to hear about you milestone. Holy Cow!

Now am sure that the Sox and Cubs are going to be in the World Series in October

Raven said...

Congratulations on your sober anniversary! Well done. Beautiful grandchild you have there.

DivaJood said...

Katie, the thing is, I'm Jewish - this should not have happened, you know?

Mathman, Holy Cow indeed. And if the Cubs and White Sox have a city series in October, I will arrange all travel for all of us.

Raven, thank you. She's a honey!

The Future Was Yesterday said...

You do know how to bring tears to an old man's eyes!:)

"I had to drink because it was the only way to turn off the voices in my head. I had to drink because you pissed me off. I had to drink because it was Tuesday. I had to drink to stay numb."
I'll tell my own story if you don't mind.:P For those who may be from a distant planet who just landed, I too am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.:) The stories vary in details, and degrees of suffering. But they all, including mine, have one central theme: Something grabbed our ass, and we could NOT control it no matter what we did. To hear success stories like yours, Diva, is a shot of adrenline!

The last post I read previous to this, also dealt with the same subject,, but a less happy outcome. The "God as I understand him" hardly, if ever, gives me what I want. But he/she/it ALWAYS gives me what I need.

This day, that was you, Diva, and I'm grateful for you, and proud as hell I know you!!

Those promises....they are real, no?:)

Congratulations Diva, and kick some ass on that new job!!!

Fran said...

Diva!!!!! I bow to you & your accomplishment.
My Dad was an alcoholic & he was never able to give it up. He was much less than half there, and it had a domino effect on the whole family. It was not till the rest of us went to AA for support & understanding, we came to learn not to rely on an unreliable person. We had to set ourselves free.
But you set yourself free, and now have gained so much from turning your life around- mainly for YOU, but in so doing, has the positive domino effect. Your family & that sweet grandbaby Cherub have you 100% you available, reliable- keepin' it real.
Fan fricking tastic.

Mathman6293 said...

Diva - Fran's comment reminded me that my mom (and her sister and 4 of 5 cousins, too) were alcoholics. How could I forget that? I suppose I have other stuff (marriage and money)on my mind . My mom neither admitted or recovered from her disease so that makes knowing of your success worth celebrating.

Dusty said...

I love you DIVA!!! Happy anniversary sweet woman ;)

DivaJood said...

TUA, thanks for the link to Jonestown - and, the reminder that most of us don't make it. We don't. Alcoholism and drug addiction are fatal illnesses, and the recovery rates are abysmal. As you know, we simply have a daily repreive. But the Jonestown post also underscores why I've been diligent and active in supporting AIDS awareness, and finding a cure for it. I haven't blogged about AIDS in forever, but I have lost far too many friends to that disease as well.

Fran, the only way I could honor my alcoholic mother, and alcoholic father was to break the cycle. Neither died from alcoholism - mom had ovarian cancer, dad died from pulmonary fibrosis - but the effects of their alcoholism were huge. I'm glad your family found relief in AA and hopefully Alanon.

Matham, it is a family disease, really. And it often skips generations. My daughter is a classic Alanon - she has the ism, not the allergy. My son, well, god love him, I've got a seat waiting for him in AA. Right now, he's too smart to be an alcoholic.

Dusty, my blogging goddess and mentor, I love ya right back. What a ride it has been.

Spartacus said...

Divajood - congratulations on your 20th Anniversary of sobriety. May you enjoy many more. I also want to thank you for the heartfelt comment you left me at Jonestown. It mean alot to me. I am also adding yo to my blogroll. Peace.

DivaJood said...

Spartacus, thank you - I'm honored by your presence, really.