Just for Today


I went to birthday night last night.  Our fellowship celebrates once a month anyone having a sobriety birthday that month.  I took my 10-month chip.  My head starts talking, “You know, Dee, next month you could be taking your 16-year chip.”  I guess that would be sweet, 16 consecutive years of sobriety.  I went 13-1/2 years before picking up that first drink again.  I still have those 13-1/2 years, and they were good.  But those 13+ years couldn’t come close to how good my life is and I am since I got sober again 10 months ago.  What changed?  Me.  What’s different?  Everything.

First relapse.  Stopped going to meetings for 1-1/2 years when I moved to Hawaii.  Thought I was doing fine.  Had my Big Book.  Had my Higher Power.  Never thought about drinking.  So why, you ask, did I take that first drink?  Never intended to.  When offered, I declined, even stating I don’t drink.  So why was it left there unattended in front of me in case I changed my mind?

Because that’s my story.  My puzzle piece.  I confirmed I am, indeed, an alcoholic which I carried that doubt for 13-1/2 years.  I stopped giving away what was so freely given to me when I needed it most.  I stopped being there for newcomers, thus, forgetting how horrible it was when I admitted I was an alcoholic and that I needed help, when I didn’t have a choice but to drink.  I allowed my gifts in sobriety to take away my gifts in sobriety.

Hooray…Dee gets back into the program and has been there ever since.  Life is good again and keeps getting better.  I secretary.  I service.  I work with sponsor.  I go to meetings.  She takes her one-year chip.  So why another relapse?  More puzzle pieces.  Major bone loss in upper mouth warranted major dental work and pain pills.  When pain gone, pills not.  All it took was one pill, for the right reason doesn’t matter.  “That” part of my brain doesn’t want to flush them.  My program and sobriety not strong.  I keep the pills and I take them.  They make my brain feel good.  My heart is sad.  Since I break my sobriety I might as well drink them down.  Great rationalization, yeah?  That’s the way my brain thinks when am weak.  I know now not only should I not drink, I should not drug.

My heart so scared of what could happen to me and my life.  I’ve been taught well that if I keep drinking and hiding and lying that I’m going to end up right back to where I was when I first got here.  Pretty shitty life.  Not even a life.  Just existence.  But I’m liking the way I feel when I’m using.  I still have a choice.  I’m not yet to that point of no return.

I get myself into an out-patient program.  I go to 90 in 90.  I’m not ready to give it up so with rigorous honesty I tell on myself each day.  I’m hoping through osmosis I shall stop drinking, that the obsession will be lifted, that alcohol and drugs, drinking and using, will be removed from that receptor in my brain that keeps yelling “Use!”  I struggle for a couple months, but I don’t give up.   I follow suggestions, hitting my knees, picking up the phone, telling on myself.

Crazy how one morning I feel different.  It’s gone, that obsession.  Just for one day at a time.  I don’t know if I’ll get an 11-month chip, or my 1-year chip yet again.  I don’t need to know.  I’m okay with today and the contentment that I feel with who and what I am.  Not only am I okay with today, I’m excited about today and what my Higher Power has on the agenda today.  You see, I’ve learned to turn it over, to not think that I am in control.  I’ve learned to go with the flow and enjoy the magic carpet-ride of life.  And it’s fun, and freeing, and rewarding.  Just for today!

For this week and for always, one day at a time, have a mighty fine day!  With much Aloha…Dee.


P.S.  For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery and Hawaii Art, please check out my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo nui!


Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Tom Waits Rene Magrite

Gnome-CathyWhen I saw Tom Waits at a Bridge School Concert I thought to myself, “Oh oh…something not right with this man.”  But when I saw some of his YouTube videos last night I was totally drawn to this artist.  So I wanted to see if he is genius and checked on the web, but got bored, but not before enjoying, and relating to his Artist Moods…Confident; Eerie; Fractured; Atmospheric; Autumnal; Bitter; Bleak; Brooding; Nostalgic; Quirky; Somber; Wry; Boisterous; Cynical/Sarcastic; Literate; Nocturnal; Ominous; Theatrical; Witty; Confrontational; Dramatic; Gloomy; Reflective; Sentimental; Street-Smart; Humorous; and Wistful.  I never thought to list my artistic moods, or any of my moods, but Mr. Waits’ fits me quite nicely…however, I really would have to add Grateful and Inspirational.

Mr. Waits really could add Inspirational as that is what he is to me (but maybe not one of his moods).  And then there is the art of Rene Magrite to which I was attracted while studying art in school.  Because I, like Mr. Waits, consider ourselves Quirky, I bought tickets to Burning Man so that I could experience a week-full and a city-full of artistic expression (was so drawn to the photo I saw from there of a car entirely covered in Barbie doll heads!).  Unfortunately, that was a year of transition for me and I was called by my new boss, and my Higher Power (not the same), to start on my new transferred position in Hawaii sooner than the Burning Man event.  Thus, never made it to Burning Man.  Never say never.

Where am I going with all of this?  I don’t know.  Just stuff in my head I thought I’d share with you.  I consider myself an artist, like Mr. Waits and Mr. Magrite.  I don’t often show my Quirky and Gloomy side in my artwork, but it’s there, as in the photo of the gnome impaled on the church steeple I made for my gnome-loving best friend.  Was told by some “Too weird.  You’re sick.”  Thank you to all of you artists who inspire me who did not succumb to those words.

For those interested in viewing some of my artwork, please visit my website www.DeesignsByHarris.com or my Etsy shop www.Etsy.com/shop/DeesignsByHarris.

With that, have a mighty fine day and just BE WHO YOU ARE!  Aloha, Dee

KISS…Keep It Simple Stupid


I have just realized that I’ve posted 31 Aloha Monday Blogs.  Go figure.  I’ve written more but sometimes I can’t find them.  As a matter of fact, I’ve just spent the last hour trying to find all my blogs, put them in a folder with dates, lest I lose them too.  You see, I’m not following a simple recovery slogan, “Keep It Simple, Stupid” or “KISS” for us stupid ones to perhaps remember in our moments of numbness.  For some reason I have three sites where I’ve blogged.  Most of my blogs have been posted at DeesignsByHarris.Blogspot.com.  But when designing a new website for my business, I started a new blog site with WordPress at DeesignsByHarris.com/blog.  But then I decided to keep my original Yahoo website at DeesignsByHarris.com, so I got locked out of my new WordPress blog place.  But I liked WordPress, so started another new account, THUS…I shall be using deesignsbyharris.wordpress.com… for today.

Talking about numbness, I am actually quite far from being numb.  As a matter of fact I’ve been off my antidepressants for the last two weeks.  I am far from numb.  I’m shivery, heart beating out of my chest, emotional, happy cry, side cry, light and sound sensitive, tummy hurts when I eat, so I don’t, so why do I have diarrhea, and why would I be affected there?  Why did I even get on these meds?  They were prescribed to me by my gynecologist probably 20 years ago.  I had anemia having had a period nearly everyday for 3 years.  “No worries,” says my physician for 3 years as I wished I bought stock in Kotex.  Finally going to a proper gynecologist, I got the care I needed after partaking in the least invasive to the more invasive but not the most invasive procedures.  Kept my body parts.  However, the anemia made me a physical and mental wreck, thus the antidepressants.

The doctor who originally prescribed them for me tried helping me wean off of them after a spell.  Instead of a daily dose, we cut back to every other day for awhile, then every three days, four days…until my poor body and mind didn’t know what dose it was going to get.  Finding myself getting quite emotional while still working as a checker at Safeway and crying when asking “Paper or Plastic?” I immediately started taking the full dose again.

With the help of my new physician here in Hawaii I have weaned down to the lowest dose.  It has been highly and urgently recommended I get off the antidepressants by my dentist because they have caused major bone loss in my mouth and I’m losing my teeth (another whole blog), so we’ve all decided it’s time.

Moral of the story:  Yes, I love my antidepressants.  Yes, I love most drugs and alcohol and everything that is bad for me.  However, having been in the depths of hell during this love affair and never thinking or believing I would ever again have a choice whether or not to use, I have been graced with recovery.  Today I have a choice and I choose “No!”  So not worth a temporary fix to numb discomfort or for a fun high, because for me it doesn’t end there.  Nothing can compare the with the high I wake up to each and every morning in recovery!

Now I GET TO figure out why I have 5 email addresses.  Have a calm and simple day.  KISS!  Aloha…Dee

This Life is What You Make It



   “This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soulmate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” ― Marilyn Monroe

Hmmm…this makes me sad to think how strong Marilyn’s message is yet how tragically she died. I oftentimes find myself not heeding my own advise, not walking my talk. But I’ve been more mindful of it lately as pretty impressive stuff sometimes spews from these lips of mine.  Go figure as I laugh at myself so much because of what goes on in my head.  Gee, I have a dilemma. What would Dee advise?  Scary thought.

Anyway, while reading this quote I’m thinking about girlfriends. And how lucky I am to have so many true best friends. I realize that best being superlative and can only be one but shut up head and let me have as many best friends as I feel I do.

I just said good bye to one of my bestest (don’t go there) on Friday. She’s returning to the mainland indefinitely, but I know she’ll be back. She spent the last week or so with my hubby and me and I really don’t think biological sisters get along as well as we.

You know, back in the day, I had a lot of friends but never allowed myself to be truly open, rigorously honest, or myself. Guess because I had no idea who self was. Now that I’m in recovery and clear-minded (don’t go there either), I get to be me, not the me who needs to impress you. I get to be honest and open and no more hiding.  I get to be a true friend and cherish the many genuine friends I have in my life today.  But I know I am just one drink away from flushing that all down the toilet.

Yes, Marilyn, I believe in myself, today, one day at a time. I GET TO keep my head high, my chin(s) up, and I sure do smile a lot.  I am truly blessed.  With that, much aloha to you and have a mighty fine day…Dee.

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery and Hawaii Art, please visit and enjoy my stained glass at http://www.DeesignsByHarris.com or Etsy.com/shop/DeesignsByHarris.  Mahalo, my friends.