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starting to resent them both  
05:03am 19/09/2009
I am really upset about this situation w/ Brandy's friend Candy.  I feel like she's always making fun of me, being rude, and she doesn't stop when I tell her to do so, or when it's obvious I'm getting annoyed with her.  And Brandy doesn't want me telling her like it is, saying how I feel, nor does she defend me.  I really resent their friendship because I'm not respected by either of them.  Brandy doesn't get it.  She doesn't see what Candy is really like because Candy puts on an act for my partner.  Candy makes fun of me for bieng blind, says I shouldn't use a cane, harrasses me about how I should get a guide dog, even though I've told her it's my decision and I'm not ready yet.  But Brandy can pass for sighted, and so Candy treats her better, way better.  She doesn't make cracks about Brandy being visually impaired.  She doesn't come up w/ nicknames for Brandy.  For instance, she calls me "braniac" and says she's kidding, that it's a compliment, but the way she says it (In a very rude tone of voice) it's not a compliment and I know it.  I'm starting to pull away from Brandy and not talk to her as much because I feel like I can't trust her, like anything I say is gonna go back to Candy, and I also feel like it doesn't matter anyway b/c Brandy isn't going to listen to a word I say.  She's just going to side w/ Candy, her new best friend.  I could understand Brandy wanting to be friends w/ Candy.  I wouldn't care if I wasn't always being made fun of by this woman.  Brandy can hang out w/ whomever she wants.  But I don't think it's right for her to be so close to someone who treats her partner like crap.  Posting this in both my journals.  I just had to get this out because it's really been bothering me.  I dread going to Morton every day because I have to make nice with Brandy's best friend.  So, I've decided that I'd rather hang out by myself, even if it means I won't see Brandy during the day when we're at Morton.  If she wants to spend time with Candy or needs homework help, that's her decision.  But I don't have to stick around and be insulted.  I'll miss hanging out w/ Brandy, but I'm tired of being miserable all the time.  I was happy last semester, when we'd go to class and then come home, when it was just us, or just us and Geno, Brandy's family, whomever.  I really tried to be nice.  I did.  I think I need to find a nice way to be honest with Candy and tell her how I feel without being a bitch.  Gonna work on that now.  After I post this, of course.
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I have a sponsor!  
08:57am 15/08/2009
Haven't written in awhile.  But here's some good news.  Geno is out of jail.  Yay!  I'm happy about that.  I also have a sponsor.  Her name is Cindi, and she's also from IL.  We met via an online AA group.  I'm also sponsoring someone in Al-Anon.  So, I've been pretty busy lately.  My friend Jen might be coming to town next month.  She's blind, lesbian, and in recovery.  I also met her via an online group.  She'd be staying at a hotel in Chicago, as Brandy and I don't have enough room at our place.  Aside from that, not much is new.  Some idiot egged Brandy's house, so her family is cleaning it up right now.  I'm staying out of the way.  As of Monday, I'll only have four more weeks of school.  Yay! 
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Recovery, Reservations, and NO Relapse!  
03:02am 28/07/2009

My partner is probably wondering why I've been doing so many phone meetings, joining recovery groups, and reading step guides (NA Step Working Guide, Back to Basics, A Woman's Way Through the 12 Steps, and of course the AA Big Book).  God bless the internet, as I've been able to find everything except the Women's Way online.  I can read most printed material close-up, but having my screen reader on the computer read stuff aloud to me makes things so much faster, more efficient, and more comfortable too.  Well, a lot of it has to do w/ Gino being gone.  I miss him a lot.  He's always teaching me something, even if we're making cracks about AA slogans or whatever.  But he is teaching me a lot about accountability (he always holds me accountable), the importance of hard work (whether it's fixing stuff or cleaning my apartment), and the importance of being on time (he drives me crazy when he's late and I realize I need to work on being more punctual too).  And he always, always, calls me on my shit.  He's technically not my sponsor, but he's proving to be a damn good friend and mentor.  How ironic, huh?  He's in jail (he was set up), and he's a great influence on me.  He was charged with theft (which I know he didn't do), and he's giving me so much.  He's been in my house, unsupervised, so that means I totally trust him.  He's taught me a lot about sharing, about compassion, about unconditional love.  And he's also taught me the importance of setting limits, of only giving what I can afford to give.  He's taught me that it's ok to say no.  He'll still love me, even if I have to say no sometimes.  Anyway, him not being here is like a huge void in my life, and so I'm filling it with meetings, with writing, with spending time w/ the woman I love.  And yeah, Friday and Saturday, I kept to myself b/c I didn't wanna take things out on Brandy (my partner).  I did a meeting on Monday night.  Trying to get to know a woman whom I think I could learn a lot from, as I really like what she has to say in meetings.  But I'm not quite sure how to approach her yet.  She kinda reminds me of my first sponsor, so that makes me a bit nervous.  I'm just gonna take my time and get to know her.  Brandy and I are spending the day together on Tuesday, going out to lunch and hanging out downtown.  It's weird just being a couple, not having Gino around.  I think she and I are not used to that.  We'd have time as a couple in between hanging out w/ Gino, but him not being here is just very unusual.  I was reading in the NA step working guide about reservations for relapse.  And yeah, I had some.  A big one was: "If I don't get my shit together by the time I'm 30, I'm gonna go back to drinking/using."  I was 25 at the time.  I'm 29 now.  And I still don't have my shit together.  My job search is going nowhere.  I'm in school for my Master's, and will be done in September.  Contemplating doing addiction counselor certification classes.  It would cost $3,000.  And in order to get certified, I'd have to do a certain amount of supervised hours.  What if I can't get the hours I need?  What if no one will offer internships b/c of how bad the economy is?  But then again, if I don't go for it, I'll never know what could be.  And so many jobs are wanting CADC (addiction counselor) certification, that it might be in my best interest to just do it.  I'll talk to my advisor at Capella and see what she says, and will also talk to some counselors here in IL.  Sounds like the thing to do.  I love writing.  Sometimes when I write I can solve my own problems and answer my own questions.  Ok.  Time to finish up online and then go lay down. 
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talking stuff out is good  
09:08pm 14/07/2009
Ok, yeah.  I usually come up w/ better titles, but I'm tired, so this is the best I can do.  I talked to Lisa today.  She's going thru a breakup, and that always sucks.  Breakups are never fun.  She asked me about my going to meetings, and asked if she and I were ok, like if we could still hang out and stuff.  I said of ocurse.  I just needed some extra support since my grandma died.  And my not drinking has nothing to do w/ the ppl I hang out with.  I don't care if they drink b/c they're social drinkers.  I just can't drink, especially when I'm depressed.  I think it's cool that Lisa and I can talk stuff out.  I really like that.  I told her I'd definitely come visit if I had the money and wasn't bogged down w/ school right now.  Speaking of school, I should get back to homework.  Just wanted to write a quick update. 
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Gino's Wisdom: Amends  
12:28am 11/07/2009
Ok.  So maybe I took Gino's comment the wrong way the other night.  He came over tonight, and said our place is looking better, bit by bit.  We're making progress.  I laughed and said: "Progress, not perfection."  He said: "Ah.  A little A.A wisdom there."  And then we were talking about resentments, and he said: "One thing I've learned in AA is to let that stuff go.  The mor eresentments you have, the more amends you have to make."  So much wisdom in that one sentence!  I love Gino.  We've established that he could never be my sponsor because he's a guy and also because we're such good friends.  It wouldn't be worth risking the friendship.  I love how he looks out for Brandy and me, how he's so genuinely nice to us.  I really appreciate his help around the house.  And he's so much fun to hang out with.  I love his sense of humor.  And he can always calm me down, no matter how stressed or angry I get.  I was really mad at one of the neighbors for using my storage locker without my permission.  Gino told me to talk to management, rather than just tossing he person's stuff out of the locker and onto the floor.  I'm glad Gino helped me w/ that.  Yeah, sometimes I just wanna go off on somebody.  Gino understands because he can get that way too, so I'm glad he was there to talk me down.  He's a really good influence on me, and I need that right now.  Yay for awesome friends!  Oh.  And he likes Grover.  That's definitely a plus.  LOL 
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I made it to the meeting.  
09:12am 10/07/2009
So, I woke up Thurs. morning, and decided I'd go to the meeting, even if Brandy didn't wnat to go downtown w/ me.  I told her I was getting ready to go downtown, and she said: "What?  Are you crazy?  You're not going alone.  I'm going w/ you."  Awww.  How sweet!  And I never saw her spring out of bed so fast!  LOL  It was a good meeting.  And I'm glad Brandy went downtown w/ me.  We went to Navy Pier afterwards and it was awesome!  Bubba Gump Shrimp is truly amazing!  I got to see a couple friends at the meeting, so that's always a plus.  It's amazing that people remember me.  Ok.  I guess the cane speaks for itself.  LOL  It was nice getting to spend the day with my partner.  I think we really needed a day as a couple.  We don't get much of that anymore.  Gino and I are ok.  I figured out that I really do love him.  Not many people can piss me off one minute, and have me laughing the next.  He's like Brandy in that no matter how much he annoys me, I still love and forgive him, no matter what.  His court date is today, and I hope it goes well.  All I can do is hope for the best.  I'm 90 percent sure he'll come home, that he won't get locked up again.  The judge seems pretty fair, so I'm sure it'll go ok.  I'm sure he'll land on his feet, like he always does.  At least he's not alone this time.  At least he's got Brandy and me helping him out.  I'll update later.  Doing lunch w/ Brandy's fam today and working the crisis line tonight. 
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Gino struck a nerve  
03:46am 09/07/2009
I want to start this by saying that Gino is one of my best friends.  He's got 14 years sober, and talked me out of drinking myself stupid last year, after my friend Whitey died.  Gino knows about my bad experiences w/ spnsorship.  He also knows that my grandma died in January.  I can't remember if I told him I was in therapy.  i think he knew, as he was around for some of that.  I went to 2 meetings last week.  That's after not having been to meetings in awhile, as in over a year.  I got really furious after the bad sponsorship stuff and so I left.  And I figured out that even though I could be around alcohol, and could maybe even drink socially, I didn't want to.  Moderation Management would've been too much work.  I mean, if I have to think about how much I'm going to allow myself to drink, well then I probably have a problem.  I mean, normal drinkers just don't do that shit.  They stop after one or two.  Brandy likes going to karaoke, and I figured I'd be ok being there w/ her and Gino.  Wrong.  Wrong.  And did I say wrong? 
We were outside so Gino could have a smoke and Brandy could cool off, as it was really hot in the bar.  I asked Brandy if she would go w/ me to the meeting downtown tomorrow.  She could just drop me off, and then go do whatever.  She said no, I said ok.  And then Gino asked: "Why are u going to so many meetings?"  And it sounded like he was making fun of me.  And then he proceeded to basically tell me that I had no business going out b/c I have laundry to do.  He was really on my last nerve.  I didn't say anything to him, but Brandy knows I was mad.  Sure, I got over it by the end of the night and we were ok again.  But it got to me that he would even ask such a question, and then follow it up w/ a barrage of other questions and a lecture about housework..  I mean, he's in recovery too, so why would he even ask.  Is he saying I don't need meetings?  Saying I'm an idiot for thinking I do?  Or is he trying to tell me I'm not good enough for the program, saying I'm not as serious about recovery as he is perhaps?  I don't know.  I didn't want to get into how vulnerable I've been lately.  Having Gino around every day, never knowing when he'll call and want to come over...Well, it's a big change, and it's starting to stress me out.  I like having a routine, and now I don't have that.  I love him, and don't want to turn him away.  I know he's going thru a really tough time right now, so I'm keeping my mouth shut, as I don't want to take things out on him.  He's also been helping me w/ housework, and really being a good friend.  So, I feel kinda stuck.  I don't wanna lose his friendship.  But I felt like a fool b/c I felt that no answer I could give him would be good enough.  Like maybe I should just stay the hell away from meetings.  It's like I"m afraid to admit I need some help.  And the real kicker is that after Gino said this, the first thing I wanted to do was go order a drink.  Ok.  I wanted to order several drinks, the stronger the better.  I wanted to be a smartass and ask him why he's not going to meetings, or when is the last time he went to one.  But I didn't think it was my place to say anything, as he's got 14 years sober. I just want to find some peace amid the chaos in my life right now.  I wanna be a good friend to Gino, but does he have to question everything I do?  Even if I'm doing it for myself?  Maybe I should just go downtown alone and do the meeting?  It'll majorly fuck w/ my anxiety, but oh well.  I just don't fucking care anymore.  I'm sick of Brandy's family always being around.  They question me enough.  And now I get this shit from Gino too?  I don't really like hanging out in bars.  But it's what my friends are into.  So, maybe I need some extra insurance against a relapse?  I odn't know.  I feel like I'm so emotionally screwed up since my therapy ended.  Ok.  Gonna post this and then get to bed.  :sigh:
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please don't tease the alkie. lol.  
10:05am 04/07/2009
My partner keeps offering me drinks.  I think she's a bit shocked that I'm back into AA again.  But it's different this time, as I'm four years sober.  So, I don't mind if she drinks in front of me.  She's a social drinker.  She's probably just like: "huh? no social drinking with my wife? what's that about?"  But I just don't want to.  Alcohol just makes me more depressed.  I was diagnosed w/ depression at about one year sober.  And even on those occasions where I'd have one or two drinks way back when, it'd just make me depressed.  It's not worth messing with.  I'm still grieving over my grandma, who died earlier this year.  I don't need to make myself more depressed than I've already been.  Brandy and I had a long talk the other night about how I was when I was using, and how our relationship has gotten a million times better since then, since I quit four years ago.  I think Brandy is just afraid that now that I'm back into AA, that I'm gonna tell her she can't drink around me.  Not the case at all.  We've agreed that she doesn't have to go to meetings w/ me.  She can do whatever she wants, just drop me off, and come get me afterwards.  And w/ school starting next week, I won't be able to make it to as many meetings anyway, so it's not like I'd be going all the time.  She and I are both visually impaired and we travel together for safety reasons.  I promised her I won't drag her to meetings.  One rule, however, remains the same.  I do not keep liquor in my house.  Brandy can keep it at her family's house if she wants to, but not in mine.  I did most of my drinking at home, and just don't need the temptation.  Ok.  I gotta post a lead to an online group about step 4.  In previous step work, step 8 was as far as I'd ever gotten.  Brandy and I are going to a bbq at her aunt's house today.  Her aunt drinks a lot, so I'm hoping there will not be any drama.  Family conflict and alcohol seem to go hand in hand around the holidays.  I wanted to hang out w/ Gino instead, but he had other plans.  But yesterday, Brandy was like "Oh, I have to get some liquor."  Guess for her, it's kinda a treat, as she only drinks occasionally.  I had to just kinda laugh it off, like is the universe testing me or something?  Testing my commitment to recovery, now that I've chosen to recomit to it?  Yeah, I need to be around sober ppl b/c I'm extra vulnerable.  Having 2 ppl close to me die within four months of each other will do that to a person.  So, I'm taking care of myself, and letting this thing w/ Brandy play itself out.  Maybe she needs to know that I'm not going to judge her for what she does.  Maybe that's what it is.  Ok.  Step four lead.  Gotta post to my group.  Later everybody.  Happy 4th of July, as I write about the fourth step. 
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I went to a meeting  
02:23am 02/07/2009
This is a short entry, as I just got back from karaoke w/ Brandy and Gino.  We gave Gino a gay pride AA coin that we bought at the central office in Chicago.  They also have a bookstore there.  We went there on Wednesday, after Brandy's nutrition class (part of the approval process for weight-loss surgery).  We went to the central office to get meeting directories for Gino.  We also stopped at the RTA office to pick up paratransit paperwork.  We filled out the paperwork while at the AA office, since they have a meeting room where we could hang out.  And I decided to stay for the meeting.  I saw a couple ppl I hadn't seen in a couple years.  Brandy didn't want to stay for the meeting, but that was ok.  She came and got me afterwards, and even brought me a Subway sandwich.  I also talked to Lisa.  She, Brandy, and I agreed that she'll come visit when we can all hang out.  Brandy and I went back to her house to nap for a bit, then went to dinner and karaoke w/ Gino.  Tomorrow night, we're going to a rib fest and concert in Naperville.  Brandy is going to a focus group before that.  And, since we'll be downtown anyway, I'd like to catch another meeting, since one of my friends is chairing the meeting.  I figure I'll go to meetings when I can.  Once I start classes next week, I won't have as much free time.  I had a good day, and am actually feeling better.  It's nice when things come together and I can actually talk stuff out with my friends.  That's always good.  And I appreciate it when Brandy can afford to help me pay for stuff, so we can go out and do fun things once in awhile.  I gotta finish up online and then get to bed.  Gotta get up at 9 AM.  Oh.  I also talked to my dad.  He's proud of me for actually getting the paperwork I needed, and filling it out right away.  I need to get paratransit so that I can schedule job interviews and not have to spend as much money on transportation.  So, hopefully this will work out.  We met a really nice driver from Express Cab tonight.  His name is Nick.  Ok.  time to post this and get done online for real this time.
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what I want in a sponsor  
07:06am 30/06/2009
I'll probably add to this as time goes on, but here's a partial list. 

1.  Someone w/ at least five years sober.  I've got four, so I want someone w/ more time than I've got. 

2. Someone I can respect, rather than fear.  Can I be honest without fearing that you'll ditch me? 

3.  Someone who has their life together.  By this, I mean someone who is reliable. 

4.  Must value family, friendship, and career (if applicable).

5.  Must be gay-friendly. 

6.  I have a disability.  Please do not assume I'm incompetent/stupid.  And please do not accuse me of using my disability as an excuse or as a reason for getting "perks."  Perks to being blind?  I think not. 

7.  Please don't assume I drank/used because of my disability.  I did it for much the same reasons as my sighted peers--to fit in, to numb emotional pain, to overcome shyness, to get thru dates (especially with guys), and let's not forget the joy that is coming out as a lesbian.  Yep.  Drank my way thru that too, as I lost friends after coming out. 

8.  Yes, I want to be a counselor.  I've been in therapy.  I take depression meds.  If that doesn't fit your definition of sobriety, peace out. 

9.  I may act tough/sarcastic, but I'm not about tough love.  It's just not me.  At my core, I'm pretty vulnerable, though it takes a lot for me to admit it. 

10.  It takes awhile for me to get close to people.  I've been hurt a lot.  So, I'm not trying to be a jerk, it just takes awhile for that wall to come down. 

11.  And don't forget Grover from Sesame Street.  I'm a kid at heart, and yes I do have a sense of humor.  Grover is that one part of my childhood I'll never give up.  Speaking of which, my Grover and my bed are calling me.  Time to post this and go lay down.  I've not been to bed yet.  It's very hot in my apartment, and I don't sleep well when it's hot. 
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