Sharing My Message – Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech

Hi there everyone.  Madame President, Toastmaster officers, members and visitors.  My name is Dee and welcome to my Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech.

By a show of hands, who here is really excited to be here tonight with no where that you’d rather be?  Sweet.  Well, there’s no where that I would rather be at this moment and I believe there are no coincidences.  No coincidence that we are all here together in this room tonight, affecting, changing, bettering each others’ lives.  I’m really jazzed to be at a point in my life where I’m trying to better myself, and with the ripple down effect, better those who enter my “Dee Bubble”.

When I took a speech class in college I was mortified.  I couldn’t get my body to stop shaking and almost made myself sick with fear prior to giving my speech.  I had memorized all the pages of my speech, vomited it out, and didn’t know what the heck I had said when all was said and done.  I know I want to speak more naturally today and to be myself with rigorous honesty.

Speaking about rigorous honesty, that is one of the lessons I learned once I got sober.  It’s very freeing to be just who I am today, even when I make a fool of myself, and, yet, be okay with that.  That’s a great gift I’ve received in sobriety, the gift of finally feeling comfortable in my own skin and being all right just knowing that I’ve done my best.  I never had this mindset before, when I was active in my disease of people-pleasing and low self-esteem.  With that I can now talk in front of a group of people and not be shaking in my skin, ready to puke my guts out.  Because if you don’t like me, that’s okay.  I don’t take it personally; that’s not my purpose.

Crazy how that happened.  Again, no coincidences that I’ve been provided a journey through life to bring me from a deep, dark place of self-loathing and self-hatred to a place of self-respect and self-worth.

So what am I doing here in Toastmasters?  Well, I’ve always loved to write and am now just experiencing my love of speaking.  This love has awarded me opportunities in the AA community to be of service  the Coconut Wireless Newsletter for 3 years, writing about AA events on this side of the island and then as the Public Information Chairperson and speaking at our local DUI classes is part of that commitment and had become one of my new passions.

That is how I got here.  My new drug of choice is sharing my experience, strength and hope with others hoping that one person will get one thing from my share that will spark a ray of hope and optimism in his or her life.  A message of comfort that no one is ever alone on their journey through life, no matter what’s going on, and together we can get through any and everything.  And it’s okay to take off our big girl panties and ask for help.  Not only should we shed the useless bullshit that has inundated our lives from the moment we were born that does not serve us as moral human beings, but we should shed any guilt and shame we might have put on our shoulders and have been carrying around with us for way too long.  That is why I’m here.  To gain experience on how to share this message.

Today I have an online shop where I sell my Art with a Message of Hope and Inspiration.  I also sell at the Pure Kona Green Market every Sunday down in Captain Cook.  And as I drive there early on Sunday morning I am grateful for the prosperity I shall be receiving that day, not in terms of financial reward, but in terms of the wonderful interactions I shall have with like-minded caring and loving individuals who enter my “Dee Bubble”.  I have never gone home disappointed.

However, last year I started to wonder if sharing my experience, strength and hope was being satisfied with one weekly market and social interaction.  That is when the thought of being a Ted Talker or an AA Circuit Speaker entered my mind.  I put it in my God Box because today I have faith and don’t have to know where I’m going.  I just know it feels right and I shall just concentrate on carrying the message to DUI classes, schools, and whatever local organizations are interested.  With that, I joined Toastmasters so that I can do my best to serve my Higher Powers’ purpose of sharing my experience, strength and hope.  Today I am humble…and I am grateful.

Thank you.

Thank you for being part of my journey and helping me to Share My Message.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

If you are interested in my Art with a Message of Hope and Inspiration, please visit my website at  And if you would like to see this blog on video, please visit me on YouTube at  Mahalo and enjoy!


Let’s Build Strong Children

Quote by F. Douglass

 Let’s Build Strong Children

by Dee Harris

   No particular person nor occurrence made me a broken adult.  No particular person nor occurrence made me an alcoholic.  It is what it is and today I am okay with that; actually, today I thrive because of it!  I am ever so grateful that just for today I do not HAVE TO drink.  And I am blessed today to have a Higher Power of My Own Understanding in my life that helps me to make sense of my journey.

   As I have more moments of clarity under my belt I realize that I must unlearn most of which I carried into adulthood.  I can’t say that my life experiences made me a broken adult, but I can say that a great proportion of it was a lie and I know today it didn’t serve me.

   Growing up watching Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best on tv impressed upon me the perfect family.  Reading Seventeen magazines as a teenager solidified the perfect body shape and attire.  Opinions, media and newscasts pounded into me that more is better and we don’t have to do it morally nor truthfully in order to get it…get the best job, the bigger house, the nicer car, the latest fashions, the fanciest restaurants, the five-star hotels, the status, the bullshit. 

  Geez Louise.  I fell for it…hook, line and sinker.  And it wasn’t until I worked my 4th Step in Alcoholics Anonymous, “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”, did I realize how fear-based I had lived and was living my life.  Because I did not achieve all those “things”, I pretended I did so that you wouldn’t think any less of me.  And that all stemmed from me “thinking less of me”.

   How does that happen?  A bit of bullying as a child for being an Asian-American in a mostly white school.  A feeling of not fitting in with the popular cliques.  An opinion of being “less than” because we didn’t have the two-story house nor the Mercedes.  Shit.  How does that happen?

   All I know is that today. now that I am a grandma, I want to stress to my grand babies how awesome they are, how perfect they are, are special they are.  And I got that as a child.  And then I’ll tell them again and again and again until I impress it so into their beings that they’ll run away when they see Tutu coming.

   But a crucial lesson to teach along with offering praise and affirmations is humility.  Yes, we are ALL born with special gifts, whether or not you want to look at it that way, gifts that others wished they had.  So when you start comparing yourself with others and wanting what they have, remember your gifts.  And remember, too, that these gifts didn’t come from you but from something greater than you, a power greater than yourself, call it God, call it the Universe, call it fate.  Just be thankful, but not grandiose, for your gifts.  They can be taken from you in a heartbeat.

   And let’s give our children some kind of stability at home…and that means as much 100% quality look-them-in-the-eye in-total-mindfulness attention.  Attention…caring, loving, understanding, compassion.  We owe them that!  That’s how we build strong children!

   And when we see children who are lacking that stability at home, let’s do our best to care for them as though they were our own, ever, ever so delicately.  Because not all children have stability.  Oftentimes their parents don’t have stability nor did their parents.  They don’t know any other way.  No judgment here.  Just empathy and understanding.

   So when the bully beats down on our children physically, mentally, verbally and emotionally, we have spent that quality time with our children looking them in the eye and ever so gently explaining how that bully’s life might be.  Right?  And we taught them to not lower themselves to the bully’s level, lest the bully wins.  Right?

   And then our kids can delicately offer understanding and compassion to that young bully who has not yet developed into some mass murderer.  And that young bully will be flabbergasted that someone didn’t bully back, but offered love, attention, and caring.  Hmmm…  Could there be a happy ending?  It’s worth a try, yeah?  How much worse can our humanity get without some effort and hope?  I’m game and I hope you’re in too!

   I love feedback so if you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to post.    Thank you for being here.  With much aloha, Dee Harris

This blog is also available as a vlog on YouTube at www.  For those interested in seeing what I do when I’m not blogging, please check out my Art with a Message of Hope at  Mahalo and enjoy! 

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Reaching Out for Help is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

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by Dee Harris

   Every day, in every way, I get better and better.  And it all started on that magical day when I asked for help.

   I don’t remember being taught as a child to ask for help.  I only remember feeling belittled when I couldn’t do it myself, didn’t know the answer, felt lost and full of confusion.  We’re taught to put on our big girl panties and “JUST DO IT”!  Well, that doesn’t serve us…that doesn’t make for strong human beings nor a strong humanity.  And when I found myself dazed and confused (I still love Led Zeppelin) as to why I felt like a piece of shit, a loser, hated myself, loathed and despised myself, thought I was a waste of space on the planet, that is when I had to surrender, put up the white flag, and ask for help.

   Well for me it didn’t actually happen just that way.  I had no other choice when I came to from a black-out and a pass-out from drinking too much yet once again.  I was, yes again, in that state of incomprehensible demoralization.  I was a no call/no show at work, the answering machine light was flashing, I heard the message of concern from work, and I had no clue as to whether or not I had responded.  It SUCKS (and unless you’re a straw, don’t suck)!

   Do I lie?  What excuse could I make up?  Should I run away and get another job?  Luckily, I didn’t do any of the above.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I was too damned exhausted.  Exhausted from what seemed like a lifetime of lying and making up excuses for my drunkenness.  Alcohol was my drug of choice which came from my mental sickness.

   I don’t know anyone who has not dealt with some kind of mental dis-ease.  Feelings of worthlessness and self-pity abound in our society of more is better.  I know now that prosperity and abundance does’t come from having the biggest house, the nicest car, the fattest wallet.  Prosperity and abundance comes from the heart and feeling worthy of taking up space on this planet, for earning our space on this planet.

   And now that I have a few years of being clean and sober my life has made a complete about-face.  Today I ask my Higher Power of My Own Understanding, a Power Greater Than Me, to guide me to be of service to another human being in need.  Because today my life is good and, unless I give it away, I can’t keep it.  But more than that, it feels good; it feels right.

   You see, today I have learned to live from my heart and no longer have to be that intellectual guru I thought I was.  I thought I could will whatever I wanted for myself.  But I couldn’t will away having to drink everyday.  But I could rationalize years, decades, of drinking myself into oblivion.

   And before getting sober and finding a simpler, more peaceful and spiritual way to live, I not only thought I was a waste of space on the planet, but I had no purpose.  I was just coming to, existing throughout the day, drinking, passing out, and doing it over and over and over.  It took me decades to bottom out.  That was my journey, but it doesn’t have to be yours.

   So if you find yourself or know of anyone still suffering in the dis-ease of thinking, addicted to substances or harmful actions, feeling worthless or harmed, please reach out.  Reach out to me or to a trusted human being.  Reach out to the wealth of support groups in your area.  Just reach out…JUST DO IT!

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   And never, ever, ever feel shame nor guilt.  Never feel like a burden.  If you don’t reach out you are depriving us all of the gift of giving…giving of ourselves to another valued human being.  That giving keeps us clean and sober and out of ego.  That giving gives us purpose.

   Thank you all for being part of my journey.  I look forward to being part of yours!  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

If you’re interested in seeing what I do when I’m not blogging, please visit my website at to check out Art with a Message of Helping One Another.  Mahalo and enjoy!

I Am Not Afraid of My Truth Anymore

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by Dee Harris 

Not Afraid of My Truth Anymore

     “My name is Dee and I’m an alcoholic.”  Holy moly.  One of the scariest things I ever had to say or do was admit that I am an alcoholic.  Especially in my first local AA meeting.  Dang.  There were going to people in there who knew me.  They’ll know what a loser I am and how weak I am.

   As a matter of fact at one of my first meetings I saw a friend go by on his bike in front of the club house and kid me about going to an AA meeting.  I quickly responded that I was going to the laundromat next door.  I felt so shitty I uncomfortably, but victoriously, told on myself in the meeting and later made my amends to my friend.

   And in that first local AA meeting there were, indeed, people I knew.  How could there not be?  I had lived in that town 18 years and was a grocery checker.  Unless they didn’t eat, we had met.  

   But something magical happened in that instant I entered the club house.  I got a feeling of “home”.  Damn, I’m home.  I’m comfortable.  I was greeted in this moment of overwhelming fear with open arms, hugs, understanding, and NO JUDGMENT.  No long-ended series of questions and words.  Simple.  Thank goodness, or I would have been out that door in a heartbeat.

   Backtrack a month.  I am going in for an assessment to see if “I qualify” to enter a 28-day treatment facility for alcoholism (an hour away from where I live so no one would no me.  NOT!).    I don’t know what they’re going to ask me.  I don’t yet know about rigorous honesty.  But they do.  They know an alcoholic is going to lie about their drinking habits and how much they drink.  I did.  I “passed” and spent over 28-days in rehab.

   And that first night when I lay in my bed I think that I don’t need to be here; I’m ok now.  I realize that alcohol is my problem and now I can go home and control, or even stop, my drinking.  But deep down inside I knew that wouldn’t happen as I had tried which seemed like forever, so I stayed.  

   Even when I called to make that appointment for the assessment and I was told that after that initial meeting I would be sent home and called back later to see whether or not “I qualified”, one of my first experiences with rigorous honesty appeared.  I said that if I was sent home, I would not return because my mind would think I am now ok because I admitted I had a problem.  I was told to bring my suitcase with me.

   The day before the assessment I want to yell from the roof tops that I am an alcoholic.  I’m going to get help and I won’t have to drink everyday anymore.  But I selectively let one of my neighbors know.  And my aunt and brother (I would have told my mom but she was on vacation in Hawaii).  I, of course, let my boss know.  And my husband and my two boys.  Something magical happened that day; the weight that I shed by admitting I had a problem was magical!

   And then on the morning of the assessment as I was getting ready to make the hour drive, I hear a knock on the door.  I know it is not my husband who had gone off to work.  I know it is not my kids who had gone off to school.  It was my auntie, grandma and brother who had driven two hours to take me, support me, love me to my appointment.  I break down crying, secretly.  I was full of guilt and shame for what I had allowed myself to become.  I was full of gratitude for the love that was apparent by their being there for me.  I was not worthy.  Why the hell would they drive all that way for the piece of shit that I had become?

   My husband and my boys don’t accompany me to the assessment.  Everything with them is blurry because most of my time with them is blurry.  I was a black-out, pass-out, closet drinker.  Only they knew the real me.  And that me was ugly.  And that ugly me is all I can remember of my life with them up to that point.  One who had to drink everyday to that place of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.  Many of them.  Many, many.

   Backtrack to the day before the assessment.  It was my day off but the day prior I had hit my bottom.  I had not come to when my kids came home from school to get ready for work like I did forever.  I had passed out and missed my shift at work.  The red light was flashing on the answering machine.  The message was from the night manager who was concerned whether or not I was ok; it wasn’t like me to be a no call/no show.  And that night manager was one of my best friends (and still is) but I couldn’t call her back.  I just couldn’t.

   So I fish like I had done so many times before.  Fish for answers from my husband and my boys as to whether I had called back and, if so, what I had said.  I don’t remember getting a response from them.

   So on that day before the assessment I knew I had to talk to my boss to let her know what had happened.  What kind of excuse can I make up?  But I was so sick and tired of making up excuses, living a life that was a lie.  A life that was full of hiding.  I was exhausted.  So I told her the truth, on the phone, because I didn’t have the guts to look her in the eye.

   She listened.  She offered empathy, kind words and support.  She got me into a recovery program that changed my life, saved my life, gave me a life, and I shall forever be grateful.

   So one day at a time I get better.  I go through the 28-day program for alcoholism.  I am the poster child for AA and do everything that is suggested to me there.  But something inside of me is missing and I can’t put my finger on it.

   So after about seven years I one day at a time get worse.  I go to fewer meetings, do less service and stop reaching out.  And then one day when offered a drink on automatic pilot I  reply that I haven’t had a drink for 13-1/2 years so no thank you.  That drink was left there for me in case I changed my mind.  

   At that point in sobriety my mind was once again king.  It was running the show.  My ego had once again taken over.  I had forgotten how awesome it was to live from my heart with my Higher Power in charge.  I had forgotten what it was like to be humble and grateful.  I had forgotten what it was to be a newcomer.  And I had forgotten that unless I give it away, I can’t keep it.

   So I drank that shot of tequila.  And IMMEDIATELY, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, the disease, the devil, whatever you want to call it, reared its ugly head in victory and yelled, “MORE!”  So my friend gave me another.  And the lying, cheating, hiding and all the negativity that alcoholism smothered me with once again took priority in my life.  That quickly.  Positivity and optimism turned to negativity and hell.

   Today I realize that shot of tequila and that friend who left it for me was a God Shot, a message from a Power Greater Than Myself that I have a purpose to share my experience, strength and hope with others suffering from the disease of thinking, whether it be alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, overeating, sex, shopping, abandonment issues, abuse, or life itself.

   Today I am not afraid of my truth anymore.  I am comfortable in my own skin.  I can be who I was meant to be and love myself, with all my character defects.  I no longer live in fear that you won’t accept me, judge me, talk about me.  You’re on your journey and I am on mine.  When our paths cross (like they are right now) I can give you the respect you deserve for your opinions even though they might not be mine.  That’s the beauty of life and the humanity placed on this planet.  I shall learn from your opinions and experiences and become a more compassionate person.  And I shall share my compassion with those who enter my bubble.

   Thank you for crossing my path.  I look forward to hearing about your journeys.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

   For those interested in experiencing another avenue of my sharing my experience, strength and hope, please visit my website at  Mahalo and enjoy!


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by Dee Harris

Detachment PDF

   In AA I’ve learned that I have no control over people, places and things.  Keeping that in mind and, more importantly, in my heart, has taken a huge weight and self-chosen unnecessary burden off my shoulders.  Before getting sober I thought I was some intellectual guru who could get anything I wanted, if I put my mind to it.

   When I discovered that no matter how hard I tried, how smart I was, how many college degrees I had, I could not go a day without drinking, I realized I had to try a new approach.  Well, not really.  I didn’t choose to black-out that day and miss work.  But that’s how my life in recovery started.

   Working the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous has changed how I look at life and how I look at and feel about myself.  Taking that step back and looking at things objectively sure put a different perspective on my way of thinking and my attitude.  When I look at the part I played in the resentments I carried on my shoulders, the lightbulb slowly started to shine its light.

   The Serenity Prayer helped me tremendously in early sobriety and still does today  Simple and beautifully stated to get me back in the moment and out of my ego:

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Courage to change the things I can.

And wisdom to know the difference.

   Remember, I have no control over people, places and things; therefore, I can’t change them, nor is it any of my business.  I’ve got to remember that just like I am on my own journey through life, so is everyone else.  Sometime in my life, even though I was told not to touch the hot iron, I got burned by it.  Only then did I take more care in preventing such pain.  So I won’t deprive you of your awesome journey and learning experiences.

   And I shall no longer let what you think or say about me lead me to react.  I won’t be hurt nor resentful.  I won’t lash back nor storm away.  You’re entitled to your opinions and actions.  Again, not my business because I have no idea what your journey has put you through to treat me in such a way.

   And today I have a Higher Power over to whom I can turn my will and life.  My God of My Own Understanding has my back, introduces me to who He sees fit, provides experiences He feels will serve my purpose of sharing my experience, strength and hope.  I only have to answer to my Higher Power who doesn’t expect perfection from me, but just to do my best.

   So I no longer have to react because I now know that everything happens for a reason, just perfectly.  I just have to ask for guidance to learn that reason, to share it, to provide hope and optimism.  So step back into the present moment, see the whole picture, and savor how you will grow.

   So when I was sober for over 13 years I wasn’t experiencing harmful cravings.  But I had stopped going to meetings, helping fellow alcoholics, being of service, and so on.  But more importantly, one day at a time, my old thinking came back and I stopped living from my heart.  I found myself being more judgmental and, although, I thought I was in close communion with my Higher Power, my brain was telling me that and there was no one around to call me on my bullsh*t.

   So when offered a drink, although I stated I hadn’t had a drink in over 13 years, my friend said she would leave it for me just in case I changed my mind.  I could surely cop a resentment about this but I look at this perfect moment as a God Shot and with endless gratitude.  

   You see, that drink yelled at me and I had no defense.  I feel that AA meetings pay my sobriety insurance policy.  Being active in the fellowship also allows me to be in service to the newcomer (I was once a newcomer and am a newcomer once again).  I had forgotten what it was like to be a newcomer…the shame, the guilt, the cravings, the rationalizations.  And, unless I give it away, I can’t keep it, so I forgot how valuable my sobriety was…and lost it.

   Immediately that first shot of tequila yelled at me, “More!”  So my friend brought me another and the lying, cheating and hiding once again filled my life that had been so positive, optimistic and hopeful for so many years.  I am so thankful for this relapse for getting me back right-sized, humble and grateful.  I shall never again stop paying my insurance premiums.

   So today I get to use all my energy in a productive and positive way.  I seldom get feelings of anger, anxiety or depression and when these arise I know to check whether or not I’m in H.A.L.T. (hungry-angry-lonely-tired) and I know that if I turn it over to my Higher Power, these feelings, too, shall pass; they always do.  I get to experience peace and patience, and contentment and self-love and -acceptance that I never experienced before, knew I was lacking, nor cared to find.

   My Higher Power and the AA fellowship has taught me how dangerous life can be for me if I get back into my selfish, destructive, ego.  By going to a meeting or by being of some other type of service, I get to experience the feelings of happy, joyous and free.  I remind myself to be mindful, respectful, loving and compassionate so that I can make eye contact with you when we meet and I shall learn what God intended me to learn today.  It is not all about me today; it’s about how can I be of service to YOU!

   I am not a saint.  I am not perfect.  I am a human being who still makes bad choices.  But today when I realize the yucky feeling that bad choice has put in my gut, I learn to steer clear of making that bad choice again.  And I learn to apologize when my actions or words have been inappropriate or hurtful; I’m just trying to keep my side of the street clean and get through life with a clear conscience.

   So today I do the best I can, stay close to the AA fellowship, be of service, stay mindful and in the moment.  Doing this allows me to be humble and grateful for a Power Greater Than Myself who is in control and this God of My Own Understanding has given me the most wonderful life in sobriety that I could have never dreamed of!

   If you find yourself struggling, please reach out to me, someone you can trust, or a wealth of support groups available to you.  Know you are not alone.  Know there is no need to feel guilt or shame; it doesn’t serve you.  Know that everything in your life has and is happening for a reason…just perfectly…to make you the best you that you can be!

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in inspirational quotes to keep you centered throughout your day, please visit my website at  Mahalo and enjoy!


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by Dee Harris 

when you love yourself

   I’m remembering kindergarten, playing with confidence, having fun, no worries.  In elementary school I was still pretty confident, in charge, and appreciative of myself.  In junior high school things start to change.  

   It has nothing to do with the school, but with me and this time of my life.  Although I’ve always been learning about the world around, especially from the people who come into my Bubble, the teenage years seemed to be where I really started to be self-conscious.

   So somewhere I started to question myself, how I felt about myself.  I started to worry about what you thought of me because my hands were sweaty when we danced together.  You made fun of my flat nose because I was Chinese.  You looked at me in “that way” when I didn’t know the answer.  I started to live self-consciously in a fearful kind of way.

   This is where my fear could have been nipped in the bud, but it wasn’t the journey for which I was destined.  In retrospect, being affirmed and taught from the get-go that I am unique, beautiful and worthy human being with my differences, might have helped me overcome my fear, perhaps not.

   Fast-forward to 1998.  I look at myself in the bathroom mirror.  There’s an “L” placed over my forehead with my hand denoting “Loser”.  I have self-loathing and self-hatred.  I look like sh*t and I feel like sh*t.  I hate myself.  Why?  Because I know I will drink today and I will drink too much today.  And I will feel like sh*t again tomorrow.

   I have tried many ways to stop drinking, but none of them work.  I am not living under the bridge nor drinking from a brown paper bag.  I have a family, a home, two cars, a dog and a job.  I am college educated.  Yet I can’t go a day without a drink.

   Drinking helped me when I felt self-conscious.  Drinking helped me when I didn’t fit in.  Drinking helped me when I didn’t know the answer.  It took the edge off for a long while until one day…POOF!…I HAD to drink.  No if’s, and’s or but’s.  I was going to drink today because that’s all I could think about and drinking was my life.

   So in 1998 I am in an alcohol treatment program.  I learn that drinking, alcoholism, is a disease of mind and body.  It has nothing to do with self-will.  And from that day forward I learn to love myself for who and what I am.  What a beautiful thing to be on the upside of my journey, to look at the glass half-full, with hope and optimism for this beautiful time in my life.

   I know that I couldn’t have got to this magical place in my life on my own.  I would still be trying to scrape together enough self-will or willpower to not drink today.  I would be devising some other new plans to keep me from drinking today, or just drinking only one or two.  It wouldn’t work.  So the recovery program set me on my new, and clearly, right path.

   Having counselors and students in my program was the first time I realized there were others out there that battled with drinking.  And then going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as was suggested, is where the real freedom began.  Working with a sponsor, surrounding myself with like-minded people who just wanted to be sober for the day, confirmed for me I do not have to do this alone.  And not only that, I wasn’t judged.  I was loved in the rooms of AA before I could love myself.

   So now I get to love myself, to glow from the inside out.  I get to attract people who love, respect, and appreciate my energy.  I am worthy and get to be comfortable in my own skin.

   Just know that if you are feeling like a “loser”, feeling worthless and will never be good enough, together we can get through this.  Don’t give up.  Put out your hand and let us love you until you can love yourself.

   Thank you for sharing your time with me.  I encourage feedback so please don’t feel yours isn’t deserving.  It IS!  One day at a time, one ripple at a time, we can be the best we can be and help others to do the same.  The rewards are massive!

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

   For those searching for affirmations and inspirational messages, please visit my website at  Mahalo and enjoy!


When certain blogs touch me I share them with you, with a few short paragraphs from me about how it pertains to my life in recovery…Dee Harris

Dee:  This blog was inspired by “How Do You Deal with Your Disappointment?”

by Aishwarya Shah. 

1_enjoyjourneymos (dbh)




Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams. 

Though some do get more than their share of disappointments, I believe that we have the inner strength to deal with whatever life doles out. It is not the amount of grief or disappointment that comes one’s way, but the manner of dealing with it that shapes a person’s character. And, moreover, I think, those who can take the good and bad, success and failure, victory and disappointment with the same equanimity are the ones who pass the test of life. It is your response to setbacks that set the blueprint for how life treats you for rest of the journey. 

When disappointed with something or someone, how do you react? Do you get angry or depressed? Do you sulk or start a blame game? Or do you withdraw into yourself, discouraged and defeated, to lick your wounds in self-pity? 

Disappointments are inevitable for everyone. Expectations cannot always be met to our satisfaction, nor can all dreams be fulfilled. This is the hard truth of life. People will not always act as we wish them to, nor relationships proceed in the manner we plan. Parents won’t always approve what you have set your heart on; lovers won’t always dole out ardour and compliments; children won’t always aim to please, nor if we allow it to, disappointment could lead to sadness, grumpiness, disillusionment, discouragement or helpless anger. We often tend to vent our spleen on those closest to us, which of course leads to further issues. Most of the caustic, anti-social people we come across, those whom we label ‘frustrated souls’, have been repeatedly disappointed in life and not dealt with it right. Some even develop sour facial features, so deep is the surliness etched into their souls! Surely you do not wish to end up in that category? 


I love being an alcoholic in recovery, the “grateful alcoholic” that folks would call themselves that made me cringe in bewilderment.  Today I AM that “grateful alcoholic.

A 28-day treatment program for alcoholism and, more importantly, Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me so much to make a better, lighter, freer life for myself.  Many slogans on the walls of our meeting places and a toolbox for living in the 12 Steps and the Big Book all started to make sense as I trudged the road to happy destiny.

One very important slogan or quote I learned in AA that I carry with me always is “No Expectations.  No disappointments.”  You see, I learned that I have no control over people, places, or things.  I was given the opportunity to “make up” a Power Greater Than Myself over which I could turn my will and my life.  

Today I can trust that this Higher Power has my back and has the control.  And with faith that everything is perfect at this very moment I have no disappointments, just journeys toward learning and growth on a path to make me the best me I can be.

The first step towards dealing with disappointments with maturity is to set realistic expectations. Even while doing so, keep room for disappointment. Do not get into anything expecting disappointment of course—that would be a sure recipe for disaster! But do keep Plan B ready. If your plans or expectations are thwarted, allow yourself time for disappointment; there is nothing wrong in feeling disappointed or disillusioned. Wallow in the emotion for a bit; understand what you are experiencing and what the loss means to you. Just know you have to snap out of it soon and in time you will get over it – whatever it is. 


So if your plans or expectations are thwarted, embrace those those incidents..  Thank them for coming.  And then let them go…even blow them a kiss good bye as you send them up to the clouds.  And then move on, knowing that everything happens for a reason, perfectly, and the best is yet to come.  A Power Greater Than Ourselves has plans for us that we can’t even create in our wildest dreams!

This also gives you time and the opportunity to assess the situation and your position. I have spoken about this in my last post on The Uplifting Power Of Perspective, that, Getting a perspective is important. How big will the impact of this disappointment be in your life? How can you minimize the damage? Do you see a silver lining and can you try and make the most of it? 


I always try to look at the glass half-full.  Living optimistically helps turn any negative situation into a positive one and always helps get me out of my ego and back in touch with who’s running the show, my Higher Power.  Taking moments throughout our hectic days to recenter is so important to our mental health and emotional well-being.  Remembering that we are NOT in control of people, places, or things is crucial.  Trust and faith helps heaps, too!

So turn it over.  Trust.  Learn.  Know that these situations are uncomfortable and try doing something differently in the future when similar situations arise.  That’s what it’s all about.  Learning.  Growing.  And then sharing with others compassionately and lovingly who are going through similar situations.

Once you accept the situation, it is easier to move away, take an objective view and plan future action. Maybe you can be allowed another chance – assess if you would like to take it or pass it up for something else. Or maybe all doors are firmly closed and you need to look towards something else. That is ok too. Life offers so many options – and gives you several chances to make good your mistakes or disappointments. Take those chances. 

While you have life and health and a positive outlook, you can always move on towards other, different victories. The key is in not letting yourself be dejected, to accept and objectively assess before moving on… 

The size of your success for anything is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way. 


Thank you for reading and allowing me to share my experience, strength and hope with you.  So how can we deal with disappointments?  By remembering “No Expectations.  No disappointments.”  Ta Da!!!  Go with the flow, that which life offers you, and know that everything is happening for a reason, perfectly!  It starts to make sense that all situations are sent our way to help us to be the best we can be!  Enjoy the journey…

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in inspirational quotes to get you through your hectic days, please visit my website at  Mahalo and enjoy!