Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monday 7/20/09 - "A BLANK SLATE"

(A blank slate - a blank mind - A Beautiful Mind!)


I was out with girlfriends for dinner tonight and on the way home we were talking about memory lapses. I told them I have areas of my mind that are just blank. I think some of it is due to too much alcohol poured into the system during my drinking days. Some may be due to age.

There are events my friends talk about that seem so vivid to them and they are sure I will remember, but in the place where the memory should be there is just a blank. I know many others who experience this type of selective absence of memory so I'm not worried it's early onset Alzheimer's.

Tonight I have a slightly different type of blank....I have not a single idea for a blog. Since my mind is like a blank slate at this moment I'll just blog what gets written on it NOW.

The first thing that appeared on my empty slate when I thought of "A Blank Slate" was the thought of "A Blank Mind", and then I thought of the wonderful movie "A Beautiful Mind". I loved it the first time I saw it and one Christmas my daughter bought it for me. I have watched it several times. It is a beautiful love story and a haunting story of a genius mind hidden inside a psychotic mind. A paradox - a mystery - a beautiful thing.

Second item on my blank slate - there is such power in dropping to your knees in prayer. I remember when I first returned from treatment, I had a very difficult time knowing how to deal with the realities of my life sober. I could no longer deal with them by pouring a drink. Somehow God put a perfect substitute coping skill in my mind. Every time something would trigger those old feelings of wanting to escape I would immediately go to my bathroom, drop to my knees, and say a very simple prayer, "God help me!" It worked. Today, if I am feeling sorrow or anxiety or fear this same practice works as well as it did then.

The next thing arriving on my slate is opposites. I used to think in very black and white terms - something was either good or bad, right or wrong. There was very little room for in between. My thinking was rigid and caused me a lot of confusion. I have discovered that life is not so compartmentalized. A lot of life happens in the million shades of gray between black and white. Having said that, there are a few things that are shades of gray.

One, I am an alcoholic. That is very black and white - you either are or are not an alcoholic. Two, God either is or He isn't. I choose to believe that God is. Three, I either trust God or I don't. I choose to trust. Are these always easy? No.

When I first got sober I had some trouble with getting the "I am an alcoholic" to stay in the "ABSOLUTELY" category it needed to be in. When I drank for the last time and "came to", I "got it". I knew absolutely that I was an alcoholic. Period! End of thought!

When life seems out of control it is because IT IS. I am powerless over alcohol and most things that happen to me in life. Today, I believe God "is" and I choose to place my trust in Him.

I like watching things appear on my slate, but enough for tonight.
Prayer Girl


Andrew said...

A Beautiful Mind is one of the most important movies I have ever seen.

I like your perspective on it.

Cindy said...

I am so glad for this post of yours. When I saw the title my mind (dodo mind)translated "Tabula Raza".
I need to have this Tabula Raza regarding my past hopes and dreams and beliefs about my alcoholic son.
With this blank slate, I can love him as he is and where he is. Love him regardless of my expectations (still ridding myself of those) and hopes (past) for him. Just love this moment...just LOVE him. That's all I can do.

Mike Golch said...

Great posting,sometimes a blank slate is an exlent thing.come by and check out my special posting.

Tall Karen said...

I love the 'Absolutely' catagories you are referring to in regard to being an alcoholic and our program of recovery. I have new girls circle all the 'absolute' words in the Big Book as we read it.

"Once an alcoholic ALWAYS an alcoholic". "We NEVER regain control"...there are thousands and it helps drive home the point that there is no middle of the road solution. The circled words are a reminder every time the chapters are read again.

Thanks PG for another wonderful reminder.

Kay said...

Having a blank mind, you sure do touch a lot of thought for the mind... you are so realtable, alcoholic or not, you just are. That is such a blessing!

Just Be Real said...

Dropping to one's knees is so powerful. I too have been doing this so much often now. There is so much power in getting before our Lord in prayer.

I am still trying to let "gray" come into my black and white thinking. Slow process.

PG for a post that seemed difficult to come up with, the Lord provided you with a topic to share and touch us all.

Blessings dear one!

Madison said...

If He is real and He does not lie, He hears a cry for help. Sounds like your life is proof of that. Have a blessed day.

Gin said...

You are right about the power in dropping to your knees and asking for help. It is the only thing that gets me through sometimes.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

The one thought that comes to mind each time I think about a drink is, nonalcoholics do not think about drinking like this, it just never comes to mind for them. God continues to bring good thoughts and sane thoughts to mind for me when I look at the world around me. Thank God!

If I didn't talk to God daily, and wasn't dedicated to the purpose that I am, I wonder where I'd be?

I remember where I was and how it felt there, I'd rather not get close to hell again.

Anonymous said...

Happy Monday to you, Anna. (((Anna)))

Syd said...

Great things on a blank slate but not a blank mind for sure. You are always inspiring.

g-man said...

A blank?
Just how long would this have been if you had a Brainstorm?


clean and crazy said...

i like that it is what it is and that is that. i remember having to come too and try to piece together the night before, and i just came up blank. scary those blank spots but i am ok with them today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. It reminded me that "black outs" were the main reason i eventually got help - they scared the life out of me.