My work is about caring for people and those I care for most of the time has been granted the gift of living almost completely in the moment due to their affliction. They suffer from various kind of forgetfulness – some from Alzheimer ’s disease and some from other forms of dementia but all of them live here and now.

Sure, they remember the far past, and sure they sometimes worry about tomorrow, but for the most they are content in the moment and it’s a rare treasure to be allowed to share this way of life. I’m trying very hard to learn from them how to do this.

The point is, that most of my life I have been trying to avoid living in the true moment. I have been creating a make belief reality of today, been desperately attempting to forget about it the next day whilst planning the next escape for tomorrow. A most exhausting way to be!

I think the lesson to be learnt is written out quite clearly for us in the serenity prayer, but it’s a matter of trying to let go. At least I have such an enormous need for control – maybe because I feel I’m losing the grip of my own life so often. Possibly the losing the grip is a way of controlling my environment in a way too – by losing control I force the people around me to take it. Not a nice thought for someone who takes a pride in being empathic and caring.

I’m still struggling with the higher power bit. Partly I doubt that I would be such an important figure that a possible higher power would bother with me when he/she/it didn’t bother saving those kids on Utöya the other day.

I mean, why should he/she/it? I’m a pretty rotten individual once I swap into civilian clothes, even though I am an excellent professional – if I may say so myself. Without trying to wallow in self pity I’m a lousy friend, a rotten wife and a bad daughter and sister. Hopefully I will learn to get better at these things as I learn to live in the true moment. I really would love to be a decent human being – not just a good one, but a decent one.

They say I should pray but it feels as if though there is a lead lid on top of my head blocking my link to the higher power. The lid is thick by the guilt I feel for being a bad person. I feel I don’t deserve the love of a higher power. Don’t really feel I deserve the love of anyone, to be honest, and almost doubt the sanity of those who claim to love me. Can’t be right, can it?

Anyway, tomorrow I will really try to communicate my surrender to the higher power. If my poor long suffering Husband can love me, then maybe an all forgiving God(dess) can too. It is after all considered human to err but divine to forgive…

I’ll give it a try and report back on it later 🙂

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So, I overcame my fear of rejection and got myself a sponsor and it wasn’t nearly half as difficult as I had imagined. I’d had this terrible image of me asking someone to sponsor me in the program and them laughing at me and rejecting me. Story of my life, really – never cool enough, or popular enough. Thing is the woman I asked, and had wanted to ask for quite some time, was really nice about it and accepting me no questions asked. I am most grateful!

This week I’m working the first step; “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

I wouldn’t actually say I’m completely powerless – the power I have is not to take the first drink. As long as I stay away from that I’m fine. It’s when I’ve let the alcohol into my body that I’m toast! Then I won’t stop until I’m pretty much unconscious. Like a Pringles ad; Once you pop you won’t stop! 🙂

Anyway, my sponsor wants me to work the first step, and I will 🙂

May God/Goddess/Higher Power/Great Spaghetti Monster strike you down with with impotence, baldness, bad breath and life long flatulence to bring you into hiding from the world and let the rest of us get on with our lives in peace.

I don’t care what you call your God/Goddess/Higher Power or political figure head. It is of absolutely NO importance to me what so ever whether you are white, black, red, blue or fecking pink with turquoise dots – if you’re a fanatic you are NOT welcome at my table!

I am sick and tired of being forced to live in fear, sick and tired of you feeling that it is your god given right to terrorise me and others.

Just bugger off!

My thoughts this evening is with the people of Norway. They have suffered a terrible blow and I remember vividly what it felt like living first in London – with the fear of terrorist threats there – and how it felt living through the (fortunately failed) bombing of Stockholm in the middle of the Christmas shopping last year.

Maybe I should head to town and find myself a fanatic to feed some industrial strength laxatives and watch them suffer… I’m just very, very PISSED OFF right now!

It’s been quiet from me this week since I’ve had a friend staying for five days. In some ways I’ve enjoyed the week – like when I’ve been playing the Little Tourist in my own city and actually seen and done things you never really get round to when you live somewhere – but it’s also been a stressful week I could have used for things like spending time with my poor long suffering Husband, or just going to meetings and doing some soul searching. At the end of the day, visit is over today, chappie is going home and I’m fairly grateful for it.

So, to the topic of this post; Pride and Prejudice.
I have a rather dark side to my soul, one I don’t often show to people, which I’m not proud of and I do try to work on it. It’s deeply rooted, but the willingness is there so bear with me.

I’m a snob.

There, I’ve said it. It’s probably more difficult to admit to than admitting to being an alcoholic.

The amount, and variety, of prejudice I carry around is vast. Maybe one could start a twelve step program to rid me of them? “We admitted we were powerless over our prejudice”…

Chappie and I went on a Booze Cruise over to the little island of Åland (one of the few Duty Free zones left in Europe) on Tuesday and I had a revelation. First of all that I could, in fact, enjoy just the trip without hitting the bar for a tall cold one, and secondly that drunk people really are cringe worthy.

Now, the drunk people on these ferries are kind of the worst sort. You know, just the type I carry some of my worst prejudice against. Life has worked very hard at teaching me time after time that these people can be – and often are – the salt of the earth and that I am no better than they are, but the little daemon on my shoulder is still whispering that I need to hold onto my hand bag when passing through the crowd.

There was this woman who looked 80 if she was a day, though I suspect her age may have been closer to 60. Anyway, she walked around in a skirt so short you saw frightening amounts of her stick thin legs which were carrying up a barrel like upper body – the typical body of an ageing female alcoholic. Her hair was long, with a raven black home dye, and teased into oblivion. We shan’t start to mention the state of her husband, but let’s just say he was wearing a cowboy hat in patent leather…

Then there was the family group with friends. The family was having “Gran” in tow and she was doing her very best to embarrass her son… No doubt this lady is perfectly sane and decent when sober, but drunk she was a disgrace! She was whispering things – which were clearly embarrassing – in her daughter in law’s ear and flirting shamelessly with her son’s friend. The family looked as if though they wanted to sink through the floor (sorry, decking!).

There were the people dragging home six cases of beer. We’re talking six 24 can cases here!

All this I watched with sober, and judging eyes, preferring to forget the sort of embarrassment I have caused my own family and the disgrace I have made of myself. Talk about being prejudice!

The fact is that all these people could easily have been me! But that is something I don’t even want to dwell on!

I’m proud of that I didn’t have a drink, though. Proud that I managed to take this trip and enjoy every minute of the picturesque town of Mariehamn sober. It really was lovely and I will take Husband with me there one of these weeks, just to have a splendid meal – sans the booze!

OK, so here is my major reservation on the whole AA thing – in fact, it’s the only objection I have on the whole twelve step life style – faith in that a higher power can relieve me from my short comings…

I find it very hard to believe that there should exist a benevolent, interfering higher power. Look at what is happening in the world! There are children starving, there are whole families destroyed by natures disasters, innocent people are being persecuted for no other reason but the colour of their skin or hair.

How can I put faith in that there should be an omnipotent power who will relieve me from my short comings and lift the craving for intoxication from a poor sinner like myself (and Heaven knows I’ve done some lousy things in my days) if the same power turns a deaf ear to the cries for mercy from the innocent?

Would that expectation not be presumptuous, and rather arrogant, of me?

I can buy the power of the collective of the group, I can buy the feeling of support from my peers all over the world, but I’m really struggling with the notion of a higher power…

I believe that if there is a higher power, as any form of existence, this power does not and can not – or indeed want not – interfere. It’s not that I disregard those who believe – quite the opposite – but that I find it very hard to locate that sort of faith within myself

What did we do before the Internet? How did we manage to find like minded, to form relationships, to find out about interesting things and gather information?

I’m a child of an era before the Internet came along. Granted, I was on the net fairly early in it’s history – my first ICQ number had six digits if I remember correctly – but still when I was a young one we had to do all these things in the flesh, so to speak.

Yesterday, when I first created this blog, I checked out WordPress tags on Alcoholics Anonymous and I found Scotty’s blog Circling the Drain. There was this person, in another country, on another continent, who’s thoughts and experiences seemed so much like my own. Amazing! Had I been an alcoholic 40, or even 20 years ago I would never have heard Scotty’s story.

I would also not have had such an easy time going to that first meeting with the other AAs since I wouldn’t have been able to read up so much about it. It would have been a much bigger obstacle actually getting there if I would have had to pluck up the courage to phone them to ask about a local meeting, rather than finding a meeting in the list on their website.

I am very grateful for the net, and the opportunities it gives us – even if it is only the world’s biggest database of naked bottoms (other great fans of Coupling will understand the reference)

Yesterday I managed to get caught in torrential rain as I was waiting for the bus. It took me about two minutes to get soaked to the bones and for the first time since I gave up the sauce I really wanted a drink. I wanted it so badly I could have sold my left foot for one but being in Sweden – where the state operated booze monopoly closes at 19:00 sharp on weekdays – there were none to be got unless I went to a bar somewhere and there wasn’t enough cash in my purse to get me well and truly sloshed.

I spent the twenty minutes I had waiting for the bus trying to count my blessings. How lucky I was that the rain arrived just then, when I couldn’t get to a boozer, how fortunate that I got soaked and had the pleasure of experiencing the urge when it was reasonably “safe”. Did it work? Did I feel less pissed off? Not one bit! I suppose I still have to work on this “serenity to accept the things I cannot change” malarkey…

Really, that is a very good view on life, to calmly accept things that can’t be changed rather than getting all worked up about it and either having a bevy or a stroke – or both! However, I find just that very hard to cope with. Maybe it’s got to do with my need for control, which is funny since I have no control over alcohol what so ever. The last few months have showed me at least that. The struggle goes on…