Posted by: Laurel | June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Before I go to my most visited social media internet sites, I want to wish myself a most happy sober first birthday. Right here. As I wake up this Wednesday morning…
I am going to have to force myself to think of myself first in this case, the first thing I thought about this morning while peeing was how uncomfortable it is going to be on Friday at the 5:30 meeting, and that I had no more chances to take a 1 year chip on Tuesday noon in June!
It is really strange, and I don’t know how common this is, but I always/never think of myself/everyone else constantly in regards to LIFE in general…I don’t think I will ever figure this out. Ever.
Since I am fighting with Aaron, Anthony and a bunch of others about all of this, I think I am going to be as quiet as possible about everything, including my confusion. I am tired of this topic. Very tired.

So, here I am, writing on my blog on my birthday! Seems like the most natural thing in the world for me to do. Now that I know I am a writer. I have tried for so insanely long to be a writer. Knew I was a writer.
Now I want to be paid as a writer. That is the next step. Won’t that be nice!?!
But it does suffice simply to practice my craft. I love it and will continue to write no matter what. I do think this is true, but if I choose to stop, that will have to be ok, too.

I am happy to have this blog, Facebook, hotmail, and all the rest. Thank you Mikayla and Ron Frigon for showing me some of the alternative ways of expression. Thanks for your friendship, as well.

I am 1 year old today, happy as I’ll ever be, and grateful as I know how to my God, and to my friends, to AA, and to myself,

Love from my heart,



  1. Well, Laurel- is that what you prefer to be called? Blogs can be confusing 🙂
    I talked to Jack about it a bit (he is a man of few words). He said that AA does not take a stance on issues like that, so there is no official position. It is more like the individual’s position to take (or the meeting group I guess). He said that in our region you would not have any problem getting your chip, but different parts of the country are different. And keep talking to your sponsor!!! (he stressed that very much) He also said don’t worry about what those people think. It’s not those other people’s place to judge, especially if they do not know your situation- pain meds prescribed for real pain is not addiction. It can lead to physical dependence, which is different. Now if you are taking more than is prescribed you could be doing yourself some harm though and maybe that is what they are concerned about? That would be a legitimate concern- but again, you earned your chip. The hip replacement should do you a world of good. My friend’s dad had literally no post-op pain after his, after suffering for so many years….so take heart… Now, I used to be an oncology nurse, and we took all the “pain control” patients too (sickle cell and the like) and I know how important it is to a person’s well-being to have pain under control. SO- make sure your doc knows your addiction potential and history, see if there is some better pain med for you (in my experience, I just never saw Ultram work very well for most people.) Everyone responds differently to different medications, but if you are not experiencing relief with the prescribed dose, you need to do something different. I suggest a pain management clinic or even better, PT. A good PT will help your whole body work together better and get you stronger for the surgery too.
    I hope all of this helps. Stay encouraged!

    • Dear WordSprite (Your name?) & Jack,
      You don’t have any idea how much I appreciate your letter. Your ‘comments’. Well, maybe you do! =^o^= + :o)
      I see that you wrote it yesterday but I didn’t find it until today. Use hotmail if it matters when I get your thoughts here in cyberspace…
      You are a former oncology nurse? And Jack, an alcoholic who says I should check with my sponsor, alot? I must be dreaming, what perfect folks to
      have come across/stumbled upon! And all this because I happened to look at your blog. And I for some reason, gave you a bitching-out for being pompous and self-pitying…:o)funny face with the keyboard-again!
      Ultram is not all that effective as a pain medication, but it doesn’t make me feel high.
      I know that any opiates will/would make me nauseous, and I do not want to use them because of this. When I mentioned my aversion to pain meds, everyone in the class blurted out that they would be right there with anti-nausea meds, so noone need worry…MORE MEDS EVERYWHERE!
      My biggest problem, then, is that the surgeon’s office is gung-ho in keeping every joint replacement patient absolutely and completely pain-free. Now I understand that is many peoples’ first priority, but it isn’t mine.
      I don’t want to trigger the addiction and plan to allow for some pain in order to avoid this danger.
      Maybe that is unusual, but I don’t care anymore. I said all this out loud in a joint replacement class I attended this last Wednesday.
      There were 3 of us there with pending surgeries, mine was the only “hip”, the other two were “knees”.
      I think I wrote about my chip (s) by the time you wrote the above post, ‘comment’, I mean. I think I handled it fairly well, although I cried and shook the whole time
      I spoke, sharing that I was aware of the controversial nature of my one year chip, my sobriety birthday, almost dropping my piece of bday cake as I spoke…
      How ever did you handle working with the terminally ill? Or were they all without hope? Wow, I tried to work for hospice, took 1/3 of a course, then dropped out, I couldn’t do it, couldn’t even handle the class. Too much death discussed and handled for me at that time in my own life.

      Anyway, please know that I thoroughly enjoy your input, whenever and wherever I find it, so do keep it up(!), and I will try to make it worth your while as well. I don’t know how yet, just tell me what you two are into, and I’ll try to make some sort of contribution. Whatever that means…OK?


  2. You know, new friend, I thought about you yesterday and almost wrote you, but went outside to taste the scent of the lavender in my garden instead…
    What a marvelous surprise to find you here. Today!
    Wow, what a nice feeling. New friends are pretty damned nice, I really don’t have many friends at all, so know that you are one of the few I look forward to hearing from…And I don’t even know your name. That’s quite all right.
    Congrats right back to Jack for his 15 years and to you for having him in your life!
    Jack and you are missing alot, I think, by missing meetings…I go to them for entertainment at times. They can be a blast!
    I’m sure Jack knows that, but my meeting tomorrow night is going to be weird since some folks are freaking out about my sobriety date. Maybe you two can give me your opinion, do you mind? This may take a minute:

    I got sober on June 24, 2008, as you know, and am still going to the same TGIF meeting that I have attended since coming to AA. It is at the end of my street, literally…which is nice.
    I got a sponsor about the same time, and she helped me stay sober for almost one year. 2 weeks ago, I changed to another sponsor after quite a lot of thought and a myriad of questions.
    I made certain that feelings were not involved and the transition seemed smooth. Tomorrow, then, I will take my 1 year chip at this meeting and all parties involved in my sobriety will be there as well.
    Both my old and my new sponsors usually attend and I expect they will be there tomorrow night, as well as all the other drunks and their families that I have known since I joined earlier in my program.
    Many do not think I should receive a chip at all this year due to a situation with Ultram, a pain pill/medication that I take because I have very bad hips. It is not a pharmaceutical narcotic, but a strong drug, nonetheless.
    I am scheduled for a total hip replacement surgery on July 29, 2009 up in Mammoth Lakes, California. I can’t wait, but must.
    Since pain became a problem a couple of weeks ago, my doctor/surgeon has prescribed Ultram 50mg ‘prn’ for it. I have taken it as prescribed but also more frequently since it is helpful with withdrawal from nicotine, which I also had to experience. Some/most (?) surgeons require patients to be ‘nicotine-free’ for 6 weeks prior to the operation. It was a time of heightened anxiety and the Ultram was helpful with that, as well as with the hip pain of bone on bone grinding pain!
    So anyhow, some don’t think I should make this my sober anniversary. I don’t care what they think and am not going to argue my point. I am sick of that.
    What I will do is take that chip if it is offered when the whole room counts years as they do every week. I will take it and that will be all. Unless they ask, and I feel like explaining again, which I might, we’ll see.
    Thanks, new friend, for reading this and taking the time to consider my quandry. I do hope you have the time and inclination to write me back, that would be fantastic.
    My email address is available to you, but I’m not sure where I will give it to you…I will figure something out, so if you want to, snoop around. I will put it somewhere…
    Thanks again,
    (Lorlie) =^o^=

  3. Oh, Lorlie, congratulations!! How absolutely wonderful. Jack has 15 years now (I think- I lost track!). I know it wasn’t easy- he was sober already when we met, so I wasn’t there, but he is very open about it. It has gotten easier for him through the years (and nice for me when we go out b/c I can always count on him to drive LOL). He still keeps in close touch with his sponsor too, though he no longer goes to meetings. God’s blessings to you! Happy birthday, new friend!

    • I think this may be the best place: email address is
      anyway, if someone knows my address,
      and writes to me, who cares?
      Well, I am paranoid sometimes…

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