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Allie Holbrook

SFYB Staff Writer

Beware of “Blackout Wednesday”

By: Allie Holbrook
Thanksgiving.  A day for gratitude, but also a time of excess.  Tables groan with turkey and pumpkin pie, wine flows freely, and there’s a sense that nothing bad can happen on a night of such goodwill.
In fact, Thanksgiving is bad news for people trying to stay sober. Not to mention the people who are unfortunate enough to share the roads with drunks.

This Wednesday evening heralds the beginning of the long weekend, a night the bar industry and law enforcement call “Blackout Wednesday.” Alcohol consumption will begin to spike tonight and with it the inevitable consequences.

Year after year, road fatalities are higher on Thanksgiving than at any other time of year, and that includes New Year’s Day. Revelers heading home in the wee hours after a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne are less likely to be driving under the influence than people who have taken advantage of a Thanksgiving cornucopia of booze.  In 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported almost half of the motorist fatalities over the Thanksgiving weekend involved a drunk driver.

College students heading home for the last break before finals contribute to the toll.  But they’re not the only ones.  Alcohol Monitoring reported last Thanksgiving that drinking violations among people monitored for alcohol consumption go up by half over the Thanksgiving weekend.  These are people who have already sustained alcohol-related convictions and are under court orders. Yet they consistently drink and drive on Thanksgiving, knowing they’re being monitored.

Beware of "Blackout Wednesday"

Drunk driving isn’t the only spike over Thanksgiving. Alcohol-related injuries and assaults also rise.  ER staffs around the country brace for the usual flood of patients injured in drunken family brawls, as well as those suffering heart attacks from over-indulgence.  Nothing says “I’m grateful for my blessings” like having your stomach pumped, right?

Beware of "Blackout Wednesday"

If you’re struggling to moderate your alcohol intake, Thanksgiving is a dangerous time to drink.  Why not show your gratitude for friends and family by staying sober? Then they won’t have to pour you into a cab at the end of the night.

For those of you in recovery, congratulations.  Give thanks for your sobriety at the Thanksgiving table by celebrating with a big slice of pumpkin pie. You deserve it!

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Lizard Reveals 3 Gift Givers

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Christmas is around the bend. For many it is time to get back in credit card debt, something like dads who have to create giant credit card balances annually during family summer vacation. Christmas expenses are accrued because presents need to be bought, wrapped and maybe mailed out. Ingredients for holiday meals need to be brought home from the supermarket.

My first Christmas as a mommy, Adam was still within. I had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon at the end of summer. Hubby#3 no longer needed to pursue me, so the lavish courting had stopped. And taking care of his latest wife and prenatal expenses never even began. I was still working at the airline reservation center and putting in 12 hour shifts in order to save up for the gynecologist bill. It was due before my 7th month of pregnancy as required to maintain my doctor’s service. I had selected a Spanish speaking doctor so Adam’s dad would be comfortable during my labor. Our plan was for him to be present in the delivery room. He had wanted us to move to Mexico right away. I was having a child at a ripe age and did not know Spanish, yet. Hence, my doctor insisted I remain in America for childbirth procedures.

STOP ADDICTION ANIMATION

Boy! Am I glad that I did stay in my country. I never got an ultrasound taken to know Adam’s gender in advance. I could not afford it and was suddenly the bread winner. I chose to believe all my spouse’s lies and excuses as to why he never had money to help out with my living costs and prenatal care. Even the fees for hubby#3’s free flight passes were deducted from my pay checks. I had a whole dollar to my name the day I walked into the hospital to have our son.

I had sold most of my collectibles like the RCA Victrola, rod-iron Singer sewing machine stand converted into my vanity, the TV cabinet I had had made in the orient, and ginger jar lamps that were shipped over. I even sold the sofa. It didn’t matter. I was now in survival mode and needed to eat right, buy my vitamins, try to get enough rest and have gas money to get to church.

I taught myself to sew my own maternity tops and was complimented a lot on how gorgeous my clothes were. I cut out the zippers and tummy sections of my slacks and inserted elastic panels to convert them into my ‘expanding’ need. How grateful I was that it was Christmas season! I designed quilt patched stockings and took orders at work. I would create 3 a night after work. I had been blessed with a long list of special stocking orders (each with names to be hand embroidered on them). I would sew until 2:00 a.m. and clock back into the reservation call center at 8:00 a.m. for my 12 hour shift. It was literally: “Oh my aching back!”

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I never permitted my heart to acknowledge that I was being used and abused. I only knew I was being a good Christian wife standing by my husband! Duh…..? We were not equally yoked. I had messed up again.  Oh those codependent songs I listened to as a teen like: Stand by Your Man, My Man, Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries. (‘As a man thinketh so is he’.). I had been brainwashed to die to self, but instead of dying to self for the Lord, it was habitually dying to self for hairy legged men.

We did move to Mexico and we rented a horrid house in a very rich zone, that was painted and fixed up little by little. I was not permitted to leave the house by myself. That was reinforced by me being guarded. There was a daytime guard and a night guard. If I did have to go somewhere I had to be chaperoned by paid servants. I would sneak to the market on the bus to buy fruits or drive to a tiny new church in the sandy beach colony once in a while. Many times hubby#3 would screech up to the market place or church on the beach and the public eye would witness in amazement how I was pulled into the vehicle by an ear! I lived in exhausting, continuous prayer due to my fight against fear.

By the time little Adam was in kindergarten, I had gained enough trust to take him to and from school or walk 2 blocks another direction to the local supermarket. I would use a stroller to take Adam to and from school as it was too hot for a child to make it walking in the scorching sun. We were below the equator. I had permission to leave the house just long enough to go to the kindergarten and quickly get back. I was being checked up on. Eyes were everywhere on us.

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Adam’s first year in school I asked God for a Christmas tree to try to have holiday for my little boy. At that period of time, there were no Christmas trees in our area. Christmas with Santa was not big in Mexico, yet. Latinos there had their own way of celebrating the birth of our Lord.

There was a very rich man who lived in a fortress of a house not far from the kindergarten. The cement walls around the house were 10 feet tall and a watchman stood guard at the gate. This rich man was married to a British lady. So, she knew about Christmas trees and could afford to have anything she wanted flown in or shipped over. We lived in a port city.

STOP ADDICTION ANIMATION

Soon after asking God for a Christmas tree, we were coming back home from school and I spotted our Christmas tree lying beside the garbage can cage in front of that mansion! I guess the British lady had gotten a new tree. I was singing thanks to God all the way home as I pushed Adam’s stroller with one hand and was dragging the artificial tree with the other. The next time I walked to the supermarket 2 blocks away, I bought 30 cents of different red and green fabrics. Adam would sit with me as we decided on kitty, heart, bell, ball, angel, and other patterns to draw, cut, hand stitch and stuff with whatever was available except the plastic grocery bags.

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Those were highly valued and we even washed them, hung them to dry to reuse over and over. Zip lock and baggies had not arrived yet; nor had throw-away-diapers made it’s way to our area. I was able to get some paper clips to hang the ornaments. And the thick metal pull off seal from Adam’s powdered milk served to cut out a star for the top of the tree! We were so pleased and tickled!

The next Christmas we still had bits of fabric left over and I had saved ribbons, etc. We sat after school for a month and made individual Christmas cards for each house on our block and the relatives of my spouse, plus Adam’s teachers. They were amazingly divine! (Gifts made with love are anointed with beauty.) I hand wrote the greetings inside. We were so excited as we walked the block and knocked on the doors to deliver them. One house was even the mayor’s.

The next Christmas I learned to use old bread buns called bolillos, to make bunt cakes of different tropical fruit flavors or natural chocolate cocoa cocoa beans. The cocoa cocoa beans exported to the Hersey Company in Pennsylvania for candy come from 2 hours away from our town. We had the real thing! And the natural vanilla was from 5 hours away!

STOP ADDICTION ANIMATION

The bread buns are peddled from a deep braided basket harnessed to the back of a hiking vendor. He makes his round about 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The bread is still nice and hot. The vendor walks his route announcing “Boliiiiiiillo”. I developed a way to make the bunt cakes in the microwave. I got very good at it and secretly sold them as part of my ‘escape money’ I was saving up. Making these bunt cakes in volume was an activity of togetherness we could only enjoy when Adam’s dad was away. There was no joy when he was in town. One never knew when he would blow in like a destructive tornado hissing, accusing, striking, throwing, commanding, demanding. Adam would run and warn “Dad’s coming!”. And he would run and crawl under his bed.

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I remember once there was a traffic jam and the city chief of police was detained in the backed up line of cars. He had his car window opened. I bravely hurried out of my kitchen and crossed the street to try to convey to him in my limited Spanish that Hubby#3 was beating me. The law officer had a jolly laugh much like Santa does. He made a fist with one hand and punched the palm of his other hand, telling me to hit my husband back. The traffic began to move and he drove off having a good laugh.We had no phone. Each letter I wrote soliciting help from love ones in America, was returned to me by my spouse in rage. My communication with America had been cut off.

STOP ADDICTION ANIMATION

So, I trusted and relied on God for protection and a way out. I got both. As much as I was battered, I must tell you I thought I had some type of blood disorder. I never bruised. Only once in those 8 years did I have any mark left on me from his anger attacks. Oh I had a cut scar or two, but no bruises. The one mark I mention was a big V from the shape of his boot tips where he had kicked me around on the floor. My son was forced to watch and listen as his daddy instruct him that he would someday hate his mother as much as he, his dad, hated her now. Thank God that Our Father takes that which was meant for evil and turns it into good for those who love Him.

Despite the evil one, Adam and I did our best to have Bible story time, make crafts with tidbits of whatever supplies we could find, and make bunt cakes for the poor. We had to have fresh bread in the house everyday for hubby#3 whether he came home or not. We also were demanded to have the daily Mexico City newspaper with the lottery ticket winners announced in it. If I failed to have them I was beaten. Even on days that the bakery was closed and the days the airplanes could not fly in to drop off the Mexico City newspaper, I physically paid for it.  At least we always had lots of cold bread (as it is called in Mexico). I guess in America it is called ‘day old bread’.

Adam learned to make the bunt cakes while standing on a chair. Christmas and Children’s Day we made about 20. We had a blast driving into the colonies (outskirts of town where huts were on sand roads). I let Adam select the kids to hand a bunt cake to. His Spanish is perfect even today. So, he would explain that we made the cake to celebrate Baby Jesus and we were giving them with love. The kids would get giant smiles on their faces and run off toting the special treat home to the rest of the family.

I remember one pre Christmas Day, when I had built up more trust and could drive to town for the daily newspaper with Adam (without chaperon); we were stopped at a red light. Adam and I always saw the thin man with no legs walking on his hands wrapped in rags on the median. Most of the year that cement was extremely hot and abrasive! Drivers would hand him money from their windows. We never had money. The bread and newspapers were paid for by one of my husbands girlfriends who was also his head chaffer. She managed his petty cash in a brown paper bag. I know at times his brown paper bag had up to $100,000.00 in it.

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Anyway, it was one of the days to take our Christmas bunt cakes to the colonies.  We were waiting at the red light and the thin man with no legs was on the median in the cold wind. He was so tiny. Adam was about 6 years old and they were the same size. Adam asked me to row down the power operated car window. He pulled off his only jacket and leaned over through the back passenger window and said: “Feliz Navidad!” That gift to that freezing man made my wonderful son very happy inside and out! It was an electric moment to see the eye contact of two hearts giving and receiving non committal generosity. There were no ulterior motives. It was an understanding of: “This was meant to be. Enjoy.”  We had no Santa in our town, yet. But we asked God to provide so we could be living Santa helpers. We had fabric scraps and glue. We had day old bread crumbs. We had a jacket!

STOP ADDICTION ANIMATION

Amidst the beatings and all, my life was being of value. I was able to raise my son to know the meaning of brotherly love. Oddly, even this year, as Adam is 31 years old, he is very steadfast to reach out to donate to our local rehab. He drops off good work boots, hoodies, and well made winter jackets. As those boys in rehab reach the phase of their recovery program where they need to go out to do manual labor in order to pay rent for their sober housing, warm work clothes are a must. This was instilled into Adam that cold Christmas Eve when he hurt inside seeing a man without legs exposed to the cold on a nasty cement street median.
cropped Santa on throneWhen my son was a small child, only major hotel chains in touristic cities had Christmas trees displayed in the lobbies for American visitors to enjoy. And major cities like Puebla, Mexico City and Cancun had throne chairs with Santa placed around their parks so family photos could be taken. Santa was the ‘gift giver’ north of the border.

South of the border kids were not forgotten during the celebration of our King’s birth, either. But the ‘gift giver’ was just enjoyed in a more Bethlehem theme. The day of giggling children being remembered during the holidays is called:Three Wise-men Day. The three Wise-men are actually referred to as the Three Kings. Children write their wish list to these Wise-men who took gifts to Baby Jesus. They can hardly sleep the night of January 5 because when they wake up January 6 the gifts will have been laid out by their beds.
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Oh! I forgot to tell you the kiddos need to line up their shoes beside the bed. Even if a child only owns a meek pair of rubber flip flops, the God loving Kings, who traveled so far to bear gifts to Mary and Joseph, are not prejudice! Upon those precious poverty feet protectors there will be a toy.
January 6th is a holiday representing the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas. The children of Mexico in particular look forward to this holiday as traditionally, gifts are exchanged on this date, not on Christmas Day by a Santa.

And now my deep desire is to reveal a non hidden, yet little known truth, about the other Christmas ‘gift giver’. This universal ‘gift giver’ is experienced by those hearts and souls focused on treasures that are not wrapped in pretty paper nor tied with a bow.  In the natural world gratitude is expressed after the gift has been received. There are different cultural traditions for saying ‘thank you’ worldwide: maybe nods,cheek kisses, hand shakes, phrases, bows, jumping joy, etc. That is the earthly way of giving, receiving and thanking.

There is another unseen world. It is the spirit world. It is governed by laws of nature just as the touchable world has laws of nature. Many successful businessmen know the following un-hidden truth to be extremely yielding! They give with the right motive of helping another. These ‘gift givers’ do this faith action with a grateful heart because they are thankful to be capable enough to give (whether that be a tangible gift or helping out with their influential services). They celebrate the success of the person they are helping. They thank God that they, too, have a need for which God will provide solution in the midst of their own service to another. So they become their very own ‘gift giver’ by being the ‘gift giver’ to another!

STOP ADDICTION ANIMATION

This spiritual principal is receiving by giving. After ‘gift giving’ one’s turn to receive will come and will come in great multiplication! What am I saying? Plant seeds of the type of gift you need. Thank God for the harvest of what you need before you get it. In your heart expect the manifestation of what you are praying for. Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. NIV Luke 6:38
You will reap.

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Smart millionaires seek out struggling persons, who they can help, support and sponsor in the business world. They know that by being the ‘gift giver’ to help another become successful, the harvest multiplies their own wealth and empire.  What theories are these?

  • Plant a seed, reap a harvest.
  • Faith with action.
  • Calling in miracles by thanking God prior to and acting as if by sharing the miracle before receiving it.
  • Being a living catalyst for God to use when helping others.

The more we can be trusted to be a channel to bless others, the more God will supply us to keep the channel flowing with provision for those in need.
Be your own ‘gift giver’! Give and you will receive. However, this ‘gift giving’ is not to be done trying to manipulate or control, but thru the joy of seeing others blessed and believing you can trust God’s provision.
If we want apples we must plant apple seeds.

If we want our loved one to find sobriety; if we want our loved one to get shelter while on the streets; if we want our loved one to have good food while being a lost wanderer.

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Bingo! Be a ‘gift giver’ at city missions, help out the drug treatment rehabs, take provision to transitional housing and sober living places.
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Expect your own miracle. Help out the recovery world with joy in your heart.  Sacrifice material things trusting your Higher Power to supply your own need later.

So: Santa, 3 Wise-men, and WE are the ‘gift givers’!
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It works if you work it! Merry Gift Giving!.
From the Cindy Lizard gang & Stop Frying Your Brain!

 


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Funniest DUI Arrest Ever

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Lizard’s Thanksgiving Miracle Recipe…. Happy Thanks Giving from staff of SFYB

Thanksgiving meal jpg Here in the United States of America, November is Gratitude Month within the rooms of 12 Step meetings.  This is because it is related to Thanksgiving being in the 11th month of the year and the cultivated art of gratitude is practised within Step 11:

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

This will be our first Thanksgiving together! Adam, Fred, Me (Cindy O.)

  • Adam is our wonderful adult son;
  • Fred is a loving father to my son and (knight in white shining armor) husband to me;
  • Cindy O. is a dazzling red headed lizard at heart!  

Recovery is real, Folks.  The Promises do happen, Folks.

(From pages 83-84 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous) If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. Reprinted from the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

My son and I lived in a hateful, cruel environment in a third world country with no hope of escape. Life was hard there and I spent literally years hunting a place for us to rent and move to where l would be able to have a classroom for my language school in the living room.   And the rental house needed to be on a paved street within town and on local bus routes for the humble students.  Those were the prerequisites to be able to support my son and myself.  It never happened.   We had no family back in the states that would even talk to us on the phone, much less give a few weeks refuge to get a life started in the States.

Adam’s miracle came first when God sent a ‘Good Samaritan’ dressed in the title of a sea captain to take him to Texas.  Adam used to translate for this captain each time he came to our coastal town to order custom cabinetry or upholstery for his vessels.  This person needed free labor to build his boat.  He offered his unfinished boat as a living quarters in return for Adam’s labor. It was winter and the boat was freezing without a bathroom.  It turned out that the arrangement was without wages and without food! My son walked the town job hunting odd jobs.  He cleaned a public swimming pool, manned a kayak rental service, cleaned campers and worked on the captain’s boat, as he had promises.  He fulfilled his commitment and joined the Navy.  That’s our boy! He never has complained about those days.  He turned it into an adventure of survivor mode. I repeat: “That’s our boy!”

My miracle came when I almost died for the second time due to emotional abuse.  My heart, mind and spirit were done with it all.   And I was finally forced to escape the cold rejection in my home or accept that the next crisis would probably end my life.  My purse, a new laptop still in the box, one suitcase and I boarded a plane to American 5:30 a.m. on March 10, 2006. Where I went, what I went through, the culture shock after 21 years away, the technical learning curves, the extreme climate difference, seeking a new profession, loneliness, and the fear of never having a home with my son were hourly fears, I need to battle as not to have a panic attack.   I made it!  God never left my aching side one second. He constantly repeated sweetly: “Fear not, do not be afraid, I am here.”  

And, just as I am so proud of my Adam; I know Our Father is so proud of me.  He whispers in my heart: “That’s my red headed girl!  I am proud of Cindy. She’s Mine.”

 

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He always had His hand upon me and sent me to the fellowship of 12 Steps to receive acceptance, safety, guidance, unconditional love and that feeling of finally being at home.  My Late sponsor, Mr. Wade and then hubby #5 often told me: Where there is AA you are home and are never alone. Like any blended family in a new AA group, there is a short period of adjustment and pitching in where needed on your part.  However, one quickly does begin to permit the fellowship love them because the fellowship does love our own kind even before meeting the new comer.  

Where there is your type of 12 Step group, You Will Be O.K.  I did not say life will not happen.  I said you will be O.K.  Accept your 12 Step group.  God loaned them to you as a valuation gift!  

Fred’s miracle came thru crisis, also. We had met at an AA meeting 7 months prior, as he was driving through Pennsylvania (where I was living), on his way to New England to take his daughter to chemo therapy.  She had had a reoccurrence of cancer.  He would drive up north every month to spend 3 weeks being with her at all her treatments.

After the AA meeting that we met in and on the way to his car, he thought to the Lord: “Oh wow, God, she’s gorgeous!  Is this someone I should pursue?  (Fred had been single 13 years wanting and waiting for the right match.  He had decided this time he would NOT settle for next best.  He wanted the real thing.) The Still Small Voice we learn to hear and recognize in Step 11, answered: “No, not yet.”

7 months later his lovely daughter died, after all the church services, the funeral and back to back AA meetings where his support team was; he drove back to the mountains of West Virginia.  There he camped on his couch a week in a tear dripping daze.  Then Monday morning he awoke and called out: “O.K., God.  What now?”

The voice, the voice.  We, who have done the 12 Steps and continue Step 11, love the voice of our Shepard! The voice told Fred to go call Cindy.  He got up and drove to the top of the mountain where the cemetery and cell signal were. His daughter had died on Easter Day as was her desire.

Son giving Mom away at wedding

Adam, Fred and Cindy were a family in October of that year.  How beautiful our son was in uniform as he walked me down the aisle!  Do you like my bouquet?  Adam put it together for me.

Wishes for intangible treasures do come true.  But it takes faith with action and that means a spirit of thanksgiving paid before receiving the gift.  

This lizard tale is all about Thanksgiving no matter what!  So Thanksgiving Day becomes an everyday celebration.

 Lizards enjoy Thanksgiving time, too.  They certainly ate in abundance at my first creepy house in Salina Cruz, Mexico!  And was I grateful! I thanked God that lizards were killing off the giant centipedes.  The Lizards must have been thanking God for such nice meaty dinners.  It is all relative, who is grateful for what.  Gratitude depends on when, where and the present condition in life. It simply means that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I have known this most of my life. And even today, at 68 years old, I practice humility with great ease. What am I saying? Just like the Canaanite lady, I gladly accept the crumbs from the table of the noble ones. 

Do you have a crisis or longing hidden in your heart?  Let me share my beta tested miracle formula with you.  If you have been trying everything to make your miracle happen to no avail, take a look.

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I start my crisis solution faith walk with the following formula.  These baby steps are the size of crumbs when placed beside the giant dream that my heart desires to be manifested! Wait! I am not talking about dreams that can be touchy, driven, worn, or owned.

The dreams to which I refer are not on the market for sale. They include:

  • deliverance from cravings,
  • forgiveness from loved ones,
  • my children loving me again ,
  • legal matters resolved,
  • health regained,
  • a new job security,
  • being able to know that God loves me,
  • seeing my own beauty in the mirror,
  • detachment from an abuser,
  • a safer neighborhood,  
  • hidden talents converted into assets,
  • etc. etc., etc. 

This is going to be a Lizard Tale about calling in the real even though it is but a misty distant oasis in our hearts.  Remember, faith without works is dead (dormant for lack of action). 

*Think about recovery / think about restoration / think about pain that needs to be repaired.

*List the miracle goals you want for your recovery.

*Create visual art cards for each miracle.

*Write that miracle dream under each visual aid.

*Post these clip arts all around your daily life domain.

  (ex: on the wall, on the refrigerator, on the car dashboard, on the corner of you PC monitor, on the bathroom mirror)

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*Thank God out loud each time one of these mini billboards catches your eye. 

That’s it.  It works as your spirit is filled with the belief of the miracle being in the making.  It IS in the making.  Don’t stop before the miracle happens.  Miracles are everywhere and truly answered.  We are the ones who kill them, because of ignorance of the secret formula or just plain laziness to do our part.  And then, beware and know, toxic souls in a darkness of confusion and unbelief, will be poisoning your dreams and faith walk, just by being around them.  Run! Detach forever or for a while until your miracle arrives.  Ask God, and He will direct you on that.  

Philippians 4:8New King James Version (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

“Faith without works is dead”.  Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 88.

If Faith without works is dead, then: Faith With Works Is Alive!  This is called: THE SECRET = the miracle recipe

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Beth Burgess

SFYB Staff Writer

Simple Steps for Surviving the Holidays Sober

By: Beth Burgess

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas hot on its heels, the holiday season can be a time of stress and struggle if you’re trying to stay sober. But dealing with an addiction doesn’t have to crush your holiday spirit.

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Here are some simple steps to help you face the holiday season sober and stress-free.

Be Prepared: Remember your old Scout motto? Preparation will help you overcome sobriety challenges before they arise. If you know there will be booze at the Thanksgiving table, bring a special non-alcoholic alternative just for you. If your family parties hard at Christmas, have a quiet place in mind where you can escape if things get crazy. Rehearse beforehand what you’ll say if someone offers you a drink. Preparation will help you feel calm and confident when and if you’re challenged.

Simple Steps for Surviving the Holidays Sober

Choose to Snooze: The holiday season often means party time, but too many late nights can leave your body and mind stressed out. If you’re physically and mentally frazzled, you’ll be far less likely to use good judgment. To combat that, make sure you get plenty of sleep during this festive period. If you can’t, short naps are a great way to catch up on much-needed sleepytime.

 

Be Trigger-happy: If certain holidays trigger cravings or negative emotions, find something positive to improve your mood. Helping other people is a great way to brighten your mental state. Perhaps you could help trim the turkey, assist elderly neighbors with their shopping, or volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Helping out always makes you happier than sitting around moping about your mood.

Indulge Yourself: Just because you’re sober, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself to other indulgences during the holiday season. Do something decadent like running a long, candlelit bath to unwind. Buy your favorite fragrance and spray your room ’til it smells heavenly. Watch back-to-back episodes of your favorite comedy show and laugh ’til your sides ache. Play some party tunes and dance like nobody’s watching. Healthy indulgences are a fun way to stay sober and in-control.

Simple Steps for Surviving the Holidays Sober

Get Grateful: Thanksgiving and Christmas are good times to write a gratitude list. Start by listing all the things that delight you about your life and sobriety. The holidays present the perfect opportunity to sum up what’s gone well for you during the year. Make a long list of all the people, places, and things that you love in your life. Take the time to personally thank everyone on your gratitude list for helping to enhance your life and improve your well-being.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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