Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This would require a lot more humility than I have at this point in my growth. But it seems to me that this is what's up for me right now. Not only to understand, but to let the other person know that I understand. This last experiment in love ended with disagreements galore and hurt feelings on the other person's part. My part was my confidence that I was right. I realize that I'm almost always sure I'm right. Not good. I miss out on new information that way. So, the gift I take away from the experiment, is the gift of awareness that I need more humility. It isn't necessary for me to be right.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It's always hard for me to know how much grief is enough or to trust my feelings. I tend toward sinking into compulsive self-examination and then despair. I don't think I need to do that now. I think I will celebrate and rejoice in the now instead.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
A wounded heart is always a good excuse for me to get angry and prideful and try to make myself the victim. That always - in the past - has made things a lot worse. It doesn't reduce my pain - just distracts me momentarily. Far better to feel the pain and then distract myself with other activities and thoughts. I need help from my higher power and other people to stay in sanity. I am so grateful for friends and family that are willing to be my support.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Today I will accept whre I am in my relationships, even if that place is awkward and uncomfortable. If I am in the midst of endings, I will face and accept my grief. God, help me trust that the path I am on has been perfectly and lovingly planned for me. Help me believe that my relationships are teaching me important lessons. Help me accept and be grateful for middles, endings, and new beginnings. The Language of Letting Go. Melody Beattie
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I love that the friends I have now don't cut me any slack! I've had an upper respiratory infection for a few days and was sick enough to go to bed a few times. But no one gave me any pity. They didn't give me any pity for the resentments I was about to nourish, either. (When I'm sick, I get picky about other people's behavior.) I remember when my favorite activity was to get on the phone and complain for hours to my friends while they gave me agreement and pity - and I got sicker and sicker. Self-pity and complaining just kept me unhappy. I wanted to be "right" so that I could feel better about myself. Ego again - the source of all misery for me. I don't know who is right or wrong. I just want to live from the heart because that makes me happy and peaceful.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So all is well. Marvelously well, actually. There's more I could say but not now.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Probably I should make a list of the things that I forget over and over and over. The surrender thing is one of them. I am hard wired to never ever ever give up. I had a friend once who called me bulldog because he said I was persistent to the point of insanity. And, of course, it was always about my trying to change something that I didn't have the power to change. All my intelligence, energy and creativity went into trying to change things I couldn't change, which left nothing for changing the things I could.
Then there's the thing about changing my thinking. I thought, "what in the world does my thinking have to do with it?" It took years before I accepted that my thinking was creating my world and that it was actually possible to change my thinking. My goal is to keep my thinking focused on the good I'm trying to create in my world - with the guidance of my Higher Power (a force for good in the universe). My world DOES change with my thinking!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
After I left home, I kept house pretty much the same way. There was always a shedding dog and I smoked. As I accumulated kids, the clutter grew. I was married twice during those years - first to a person who didn't care at all and then to someone who liked things neat and clean. Unfortunately, the neat and clean husband wasn't willing to spend very much time neatening and cleaning. He did some but quickly became discouraged. I tried really hard to get the kids to clean, but they were not as afraid of me as I was of my mother, so sometimes they cleaned and sometimes they didn't and the mess grew.
Eventually I made it into recovery. At first my mess didn't bother me. Then I started throwing everything from the rest of the house into my bedroom, which made it almost impossible to walk in there. I married again to a person who liked things neat and clean but who in his heart of hearts really thought it was "women's work." BOTH of us smoked and both of us were messy. Oh dear. Sooner or later, usually later, one of us would get overwhelmed by the mess and start cleaning. Then the other one would feel guilty and clean. So sometimes things were clean and sometimes they weren't. About a year and a half into recovery, both of us stopped smoking - which did cut down on the dog hair sticking to everything.
Then I grew in recovery and woke up to the fact that cleaning house wasn't about some rule somebody made but about serenity and beauty. I began to think enough of myself to want my surroundings to be serene and beautiful. In the year 2000 we had a fire and lost most of our belongings. We didn't replace a lot of stuff so in a way the fire helped us get rid of clutter. Since then my motive for cleaning is to give myself the gift of a lovely place to live. And sure enough I have a lovely place to live and it nurtures me. So I guess the answer to the question of whether cleaning house is actually important is: it depends on the goal. If I'm just trying to follow the rules - probably not. If I want to nurture myself, the answer is, "yes, defnitely."
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
On the down side - I now have osteopina which means my bones in my legs are losing calcium from non-weight bearing for long periods. The up side is that there's a new drug that helps bone cell growth that might be useful. Down side again - the drug costs $700 a month and requires that I give myself a shot every day. Grrrr. Whatever. I will find a way to do whatever it takes. Still on the downside - I told Dr. Dreamy that I occasionally took a few steps without support since I thought it was safe to experiment. He turned a very bright red and hid his face in his hands. I knew then that I had been very very bad. He was nice about it but said I was not to do that anymore so okay I won't.
Final upside - I asked the hard question which was "what do we do if this never heals?" He said, "It will heal because we will keep grafting it until it does." I will now quit thinking about other alternatives like amputation. I don't want to give up and so I won't since I have his thinking on my side.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I spent most of my life until recovery feeling as if I was just not a worthy person. After hearing other people's stories again and again in recovery, I realized that underneath all our "acts," we are the same. I don't worry much now about what other people think of me.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
So, here's the answer according to the article: When neither of you are mad, sit down and talk about it without exploding. Just say, "I'm not willing to keep on having these horrible episodes. It's hurting both of us. I want us to have some ground rules for talking about problems: Talk reasonably and kindly. Try to find solutions that meet both of our needs. Do you agree?" If he/she does not agree, say: "I'm going to try to talk to you in a kind way, and if you explode I'm going to leave for 10 minutes to give you a chance to calm down, and then I'm going to try again. If you still can't talk reasonably, I will stop talking to you and leave again. You will have left me to solve the problem without your input, and you might not like the solution I come up with." Then the article says that you will need to solve the problem in such a way that he/she cannot do what they've done before. The example was that the husband invited guests without asking her first. When she tried to talk to him about it, he blew up and walked out - which was how he usually reacted when she asked him to change something. So, the writer of the article suggested that if he wouldn't agree to talking out the problem without exploding, she just tell him she would not be there to hostess guests if he invited people without asking her. And then make good on her promise by leaving and spending the day elsewhere if he did it again.
Well, I wonder how that would have worked with the people I used to have screaming fights with. Since I'm not in a relationship like that now, I won't have a chance to practice it. But it would certainly change the dynamics - and that couldn't help but be a good thing.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
So, imagine my delight in reading about how to give and receive criticism even though I'm not supervising people and am not living in partnership with anyone right now. In the grander scheme of things when I'm looking at priorities, learning to motivate rather than chastise, seems to be a big priority. The latest issue of Real Simple has a good article on how to give and receive "motivation."
First, learn to see feedback/motivation as a good thing - a useful tool. Second, answer these questions: 1) What's working ? 2) What's not working? 3) What can we do together to fix it? Try to give feedback in such a way as to let the person feel appreciated for what's working and optimistic about changes. You could say things like, "I really appreciate...." "It would be great if you could..." "It would mean a lot if you could..."
When you're receiving feedback, ask the questions of the other person so that you're clear about what he/she wants. Listen without disagreeing or arguing. Take notes. Assume the other person has a good point. Maybe you can learn some new skills - maybe it would be fun!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
For the first few years that I went, the effect of the weekend on me was dramatic. I let go of much of the pain I had carried all my life - always feeling as if I was unlovable, mother guilt, grief. Then going to Heart to Heart became about just seeing what would happen. Sometimes something big happened; sometimes not. Whether or not something big happened, I always came back happier and more solid in my relationship with God.
In the last guided meditation we do on Sunday morning, a song is played called "Let me remember - I am one with God." That always stands out for me, and it did again this year. I am always comforted and released from feeling alone.
This year for the first time, I started hearing things to tell someone else - which is always a dangerous thing. I went ahead and shared them anyway. They didn't have quite the effect I had hoped (that's why it's dangerous) but I'm working on clearing that up. I'm making a note: beware of sharing something you heard for someone else!
Monday, September 08, 2008
This is so BIG! It took so long for me to really believe this. The habit of self-hate kept returning over and over again. But I really do believe this now even though I have to work at believing it.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Here's where I am on the journey: Most recently I went to the new physical therapist my surgeon sent me to. This visit was strictly for the purpose of evaluation. He tested my strength and flexibility, and since I never want to be thought of as a wimp, I really put everything I had into it. And he was really impressed - that's what he said. Of course, the next day I was miserable with back strain and pain in various other parts of my body which was a great reminder that my ego isn't on my side! Also, this weekend is the third anniversary of the wreck. I'm finding myself really missing Ron. I just wish I could talk to him and hug him. I am grateful for the power and peace of God.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I was loved before I found recovery, but I didn't believe it so it did me no good. When I had told my first sponsor all the worst things about me and she still loved me I had to believe that she loved the real me. Ron said the thing that saved him was that people told him, "Let us love you until you can love yourself." From living close to him for 22 years, I truly believe that somewhere in there he stopped loving himself and letting other people love him. As a result, he stopped caring whether he lived or died and so died before his time. I wonder how many other people die before their time because they don't care about themselves.
Friday, August 29, 2008
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips along the life line's crease.
When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn't signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won't say Thank you, I don't remember
they're going to die.
A friend told me she'd been with her aunt.
They'd just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt's powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.
How close does the dragon's spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?
- Ellen Bass
This is something I know but forget. I shouldn't. I've experienced five sudden and tragic deaths of dearly loved people in my life. One day they were here; the next minute they weren't. But I still forget. When I was angry with Ron and said something mean to him, I would think, "I'll regret this after he dies. But I don't care." Sure enough, I did regret it.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Have patience with the mistakes and follies of others. Instead of harsh criticism, offer genuinely helpful feedback so that everyone benefits.
Forgive early and forgive often. Set yourself free from the heavy burden of resentment, and move quickly beyond the pain."
I've had too much time on my hands while I was waiting to recover from surgery and so managed to collect a few resentments. I talked to one of my spiritual advisors and realized that I was just afraid that a couple of precious friends were displeased with me. Instead of feeling that, I got angry that they "insulted" me. In one instance, I decided to ask the person what he meant when he said what he said. That cleared it up and I could let it go. In the other instance, I decided to cut the person some slack. It's the first time in our over 10 year long friendship that she's said anything even vaguely critical so I certainly could let one time go.
I used to hurt myself a lot through the behavior of others. I am so grateful to have been taught that I need not take anything personally. It is my responsibility to keep my side of the street clean. Once I've done that, I can feel free to forgive. Of course, it's only necessary to forgive if I've taken offense; so a better way is to simply not take offense in the first place!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Well, what a lovely way to say, "mind your own business." If you believe in the power of prayer like I do - if only to believe that prayer changes the person who is praying - this could be pretty powerful. I hear people say, (and I've said this myself) "I know I'm powerless and there's nothing I can do about this." But the truth is I can pray.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In this past three years I've felt a lot like a small child looking for guidance since nothing in my world now resembles the person I was and the life I led before the wreck. I just re-found the 7 questions today and will use them to guide me again.
1. Today I feel...
2. What I most want right now is...
3. What I need right now is...
4. What I'm most afraid of is...
5. I am grateful for...
6. What is the truth of my experience right now?
7. If I could reclaim my life, I would...
I'm grateful for all the loving people in my life. I'm grateful for my seemingly inborn adaptability. I'm not going to be reclaiming the life I had. It's my job to create a new one. That is very difficult when I'm always waiting... waiting for a surgery, waiting to heal from a surgery... waiting to be told by the doctor whether I can drive, walk, etc. But it's going to have to be possible to create a life in the midst of waiting because I get way too squirreley when I have to sit and wait for life to begin. So, I pretend I'm not waiting and just forge ahead. When I have to stop, I do the best I can to put everything on hold for just as long as necessary and not a minute longer. I try not to start things that require my actual presence unless there's a way to put them on hold. So far, this approach is working fairly well but I still feel squirreley - like I don't have an actual life. So, 7 questions will be answered every day. I'm grateful to whoever gave me these questions.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
My defense against all the dangers of life and love is my connection with God, and God gives me the realization that if those I love don't treat me well it's because they are not loving themselves at the time and so can't love anyone else. I don't have to take it personally. Easier said than done! But still true. I'm noticing that I'm seeing a lot of lack of self love in other people and myself. So, I'm working on cutting myself some slack. I'm not doing a lot of the things I want to do with the level of perfection I think I should. I'm still getting up in the morning and doing what I can, though. For now that's good enough!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
What if ...we knew everything was okay and we didn't have to worry about a thing? What would we do then? We'd be free to let go and enjoy life! The Language of Letting Go. Melody Beattie.
Friday's trip to the doctor was basically good but the progress in healing was not actually clear. So I'm released to do a little more but not a lot. I was hoping for more.
I know that not worrying and that everything is really okay is true. However, it does not mean that I will always get everything I want. There's a tee shirt in one of the catalogs I get that says, "Manure Occureth." That is also true. The thing is I really don't have to worry about manure occuring. I get the courage, patience and ability to handle that too. So I will work on being free and enjoying life today!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I'm a big list maker. I carry list making to great heights - color coded, illustrated, etc. Of course, that's a big time waster but we won't talk about that. Nevertheless, I do get things completed that I would otherwise forget about. Sometimes things stay on my list for years and years and then I finally do them. Lists are good. But the really important priorities get sandwiched in between grocery shopping and renewing my driver's license. I think I'll put those priorities first on the list!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Grief is so unbelievably painful. No one can really believe it the first time they experience it. It's common to think you're going crazy or that you're going to die. But, no, it's just grief - more painful than childbirth, more painful than anything I can think of. My grandson's girlfriend's sister's husband was killed in a terrible wreck on Friday. He was only 25. They have a 5 month old baby. My grandson and his girlfriend's family are in that tortured phase of grief when they can't talk so they can be understood. When I talked to them on the phone, I mostly just said, "I'm sorry, but I didn't understand what you said." What I had to offer was my experience, strength and hope - you are not going crazy and you're not going to die. All of you will get through this even though it seems impossible right now. It will get better. The love you have for each other will help.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Maybe all of us are broken hearted from childhood on. Or at least most of us. We are hungry tigers for love; love we didn't get enough of from childhood. We want to be loved for ourselves; as we are. Even when we're obnoxious and stepping on the toes of the people we want to love us. What in the world is the solution? I guess (ha!) it must be to go to God for that kind of love and then try to be a channel for others. Hmmm. Tall order. "What an order! I can't go through with it!" But what else have I got to do before I die?
Sunday, July 06, 2008
It's July in Oklahoma so I'm not sure I would get much from living in the sunshine right now except a sunburn and a lot of sweat. But I surely do need to live in the Divine Spirit. For whatever reason I am sad and tired right now and my mind wants to run to the negative. There really is no discernible reason! I will consult the Divine Spirit for what activities for this day and ask that my mind be cured.
Friday, July 04, 2008
"You should not doubt that better things are ahead for you. Go forward unafraid because you feel deeply safe under God's protection. Twenty-Four Hours A Day.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I woke up at 6:15 this morning after a solid night's sleep beginning around 9:00 p.m. last night. Boy did that feel good. I had a long day yesterday and was very tired. Sometimes that means I will sleep well. Sometimes it doesn't. Last night it did. It's a big deal to wake up before 10:00 in the morning since I often sleep 10 to 12 hours a night (with a couple of wake ups). So, I think this means I'm doing a little better with healing from surgery. Yay! That in turn means that I can do more during the day - besides watch Law and Order re-runs that is. I certainly am limited and certainly I need God's love to accept my limitations without fear.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
"What is sometimes called holiness is often only the invitation of God to be our Friend. As God becomes your friend, you become a friend to others. We experience true human friendship and from this experience we can imagine what kind of a Great Friend God can be. We believe Him to be a tireless, selfless, all conquering, miracle-working Friend. We can reach out to the Great Friend and figuratively take His hand in ours. I pray that I may think of God as a Great Friend in need." Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Last night I celebrated my 25th Sobriety birthday and it was lovely. Guys from my group carried me up the stairs and back down again for the meeting. (the church rented out the gym downstairs to another group where we usually meet - grrr). The guys did a great job - didn't scare me a bit.
So many simple things to be grateful for.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
The work is never-ending. Plus it's hard to even find the information we need even if we notice we need it. After we get the informtion, then comes the hard, daily work of putting it into practice. But I am so grateful to be on the journey although it's incredibly hard!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The experiment with walking on my unhealed leg in order to encourage it to heal led to it caving in - basically. The hardware broke. The xray looks like a 400 lb woman has been walking on this leg. So I'm waiting for word from the surgery scheduler at my doctor's office to call......
I am wondering if there's anything I can change to increase the odds that it will heal this time. I tend to just accept things the way they are because I'm more comfortable that way. Maybe I should work at creating a state of mind that expects the leg to heal instead of working on just accepting it the way it is. Why not?
Monday, May 05, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
I had the wonderful opportunity to have lunch this weekend with classmates (women) from the graduating class of 1959. We told a lot of stories about ourselves, each other and other people in the class who were not present. Basically gossip but fascinating. The thing is, they were pretty much all sad stories about husbands who ran off with the Spanish maid, guys who committed suicide, etc. It struck me that it was a good thing they were all in the past! Now we are getting up in age and have learned a lot of lessons, so we can have as much fun as possible in the present. And we did!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Folks, this quote tells the exact and total truth of my experience. I am a completely different person than I was before the death of my first child. I am a completely different person than I was before the death of my third child. And I am a completely different person than I was before the death of my soul mate. And there's good and bad news in the changes.
The bad news: I probably will never be as completely happy as I was capable of before the first big loss. Knowledge of the pain of loss makes the whole world look different. It is no longer possible to believe that everything will eventually be wonderful and stay that way forever. I knew that everything is completely and arbitrarily temporary. After the death of my first child, I believed that at least nothing that awful would happen to me again. It just didn't seem possible. Guess what! There are no such guarantees. For a long time I reacted to that truth by standing back from life as much as I could. That is bad news.
The good news: It is possible to accept the certainty that loss is a consistent part of life and use that truth to sharpen one's connection to life and love. Dancing with a banged up heart is a lot more interesting when you're sure you must seize the moment.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I have had a week with a lot of challenges. One of the volunteers that worked with us on our big event that was so successful took a lot of liberties and caused a lot of problems that we have spent days trying to straighten out. Once again a dear friend came to my aid and has helped a lot but there still a long way to go. Expending energy on solving problems isn't something that bothers me. On the other hand I have so little energy that the effort costs me days to recover or evenings when I go to bed at 6:00 p.m. and wake up at 8:30 a.m. I'm not used to having so little physical strength. These problems aren't tragedies but I suspect that the volunteer was suffering and probably has been her whole life. It's sad to watch people hurt themselves by their own bad behavior when what they are trying to do is make their lives better. I've been there. I know how bad it hurts. I'm grateful not to be living like that anymore.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
When I went to the doctor in January we still couldn't see from the xray whether my femur was healing or not. There's no way to be sure other than opening my leg up and looking - which isn't an option. So, he said to start using the cane and then walk without it and see how that went. So, here I am two plus months later. I walk a little without the cane at home, but my leg does hurt if I do much of that. That tells me the bone is not solid and that the rod that holds my leg together is probably moving. But I can get around with the cane like a house afire. I'm able to walk a lot and pretty fast. It feels so good to be able to go up and down stairs and go wherever I want - yay!
I wonder when, if ever, I will quit thinking about Ron. Maybe I will have to be without him for as long as we were together before he is not such a big part of my life and thoughts still. Of course, enough time has passed now that thinking about him doesn't cause me great pain. He's just there. I'm finishing up a fourth step and our relationship is a big part of what I'm inventorying. But I probably won't know what it all means until the 5th step or maybe even through 9.
I'm going through a tremendous amount of change right now. All good things but very challenging. I'm doing the first in a series of classes for recovering people that Ron and I talked about doing but never did due to his health problems. We'll see how that goes. I think it is time for me to look for other ways to earn a living other than working for the Alzheimer's Association. I need a less stressful kind of work so that my body can heal without having to deal with stress. I'm also committed to working toward being a published writer. I haven't made much progress there because I'm still trying to finish all the odds and ends that are left from the wreck. I still need to clean out some of Ron's stuff - especially in the garage. I'm making my will and doing all my "end of life" stuff that needs to be changed. I'm almost there but not quite. When I get that stuff done, I will have serious time to write.
All in all, I'm satisfied with where I am. I wish I were farther along but considering the barriers I have, I think I've done pretty well. I have more energy now than I did and my sleep patterns are not as screwy. My eating is healthier and I've lost a tiny amount of weight. The foundation for everything is my physical well being and I've made more progress there than anywhere else. Thank you, God, family and friends for all you give me. Nothing would be working without that support.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
There have been some times when I really lived by this and was amazed at the results. Then I got hooked on the love I got from one person. When the supply was interrupted I got crazy like addicts do. Then it was REALLY hard to give love. Besides that, I finally realized that this is not a promise that I will be loved by the person I want to love me. While I'm longing for that love, I'll miss the rest of the love that's coming my way. And lots of it is, and I am so grateful.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
piece of my mind
They didn't want it
I miss it
because I felt really smart
for a minute but then
I got to feeling stupid
and no wonder
with such a big
piece of my mind missing.
As I begin to write seriously, I looked back at some of the things I wrote in the past. Here's one of my favorite poems I wrote 20 years ago.
When I was about six months into recovery, I desperately wanted to save all the people I loved. I knew I had finally found the answers I had been searching for my whole life, and at last had found relief from fear, crisis, and disaster. I knew they needed what I had found. I knew they must want to be relieved of their own misery. Well, guess what? They didn't. They looked at me like I had two heads and had gone completely crazy and was in the grip of a cult. One of them said I had been "brainwashed." I remember thinking that I probably had been brainwashed - my brain needed it!
So, in my despair at not being able to save my dear ones, I called my sponsor who said that this was how recovery worked. Of course, you want to pass on the wonderful gift you've received to the ones you love. The thing is, they won't accept it from this person they've known for years as a screw up and a general crack pot. The only way to help them is to get well and happy yourself over a period of time, and then they might want what you have. Of course, they will not ask you for help. They'll ask someone else. Most of the people you can directly help will be people you don't have a relationship with.
Hmmm. I could see the logic in that. So, I quit trying to save them and worked on myself. As far as I know, none of the people I was desperately trying to save have ever availed themselves of recovery. The reason I don't know for sure is that they got bored with me and left my life! But I've gotten quite well and happy.
Now my problem is that the people around me think that I'm some kind of paragon since I seem to be able to handle a lot of crap in my life without crashing and burning. That's because they didn't know me before, of course. When they tell me how wonderful I am, I respond by explaining that it's not me, it's my recovery program. Then they think I'm being excessively modest. But no, they are missing the point! The same power to handle life is available to them too. Phooey. I still haven't been able to figure out how to handle this. Maybe it's the same thing as before: Let them think what they want and go on working on me.
Monday, February 25, 2008
In the old days, birth control was just not doing it. But at sleep overs the girls whispered in corners about how impossible it seemed to not do it. I would guess that about half or more of the steady couples were doing it. And there were a lot of pregnancies. So sad because lives were just derailed by the disgrace, shame, secrecy and responsibility of a child. Now, of course, there's not so much shame and disgrace but there's still the responsibility which teenagers are just not ready for. Lives are still derailed. I wish I knew what the answer was because all of us lose when teenagers have to grow up before they're ready and lose their dreams of the future.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I love that phrase: "wrenching turmoil." That should be my middle name. Learning to live with unsolvable problems has been one of the greatest challenges I've ever had on my journey. Ron's health and money problems almost tore me to shreds. I loved him absolutely and knew he was a thoroughly good person through and through. But he had a terrible flat spot in his brain where money and health were concerned, and both of those problems of his had a tortuous effect on me. He was sick a lot in the last 10 years of our marriage which disrupted his showing his love and caring for me. A huge loss for a love junkie like myself. And money - oh my God. I couldn't believe the craziest things he said. He never did believe he was an over spender even though his outgo exceeded his income consistently.
Somehow, with the help of advisors, I managed to live with these unsolvable problems - after, of course, trying absolutely everything I could think of to get him to solve them many, many times! What I got from that experience was a clear sense of how "wrenching turmoil" feels. If I get that feeling, I know I've come in contact with an unsolvable problem. The only thing to do is pry my fingers off the problem, pray for acceptance, go to a whole lot of meetings, check with other people to make sure I'm not missing something and giving up too soon, and then buckle down and learn to live with the problem. That knowledge has come in very handy in learning to live with my current disability. I've heard over and over in recovery that acceptance is the key to everything, and that how I respond in impossible situations is what will give me peace of mind - NOT changes in my circumstances. Hard to do but worth it.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I had my sleep study and now have a CPAP which still isn't being used since I can't figure out how to get the distilled water in there - but I'm close! I have been to physical therapy several times and can easily do all the balance and strength exercises Kathy gives me. In fact, I've resumed doing a little yoga. I can do down dog, warrior and triangle - not perfectly but well enough to really help my back. The yoga was something I added to the physical therapy exercises that I do almost every day now. I've resumed my meditation practice and have been able to be fairly consistent (5 days out of 7 most weeks). I've started eating my own cooking most of the time instead of take out. And since I'm getting enough sleep and better nutrition, I'm not hungry all the time like I have been for so long. I've even been able to feed some of my friends here and there. My will is almost finished. I still have to talk to some members of the family about it before it's finalized, but it's very close. I've gone through stacks of papers and thrown a lot of unnecessary stuff away. Extra blankets and sheets are now stored in those packages where you vacuum out the air - the thing is, the seal on the packages isn't great so... But they're stored anyway. My closets are now cleaned out and everything is where I want it so I can hang up my clothes after washing them! The black history event the Alzheimer's Association puts on each year as outreach to the African American community was a huge success. I didn't do much except help with some details and cheer Beverly on, but I did feel part of the success since I insist that we do it. There's more but I'm getting bored with this. So finally and best of all, I've arranged to do the first in a series of classes for recovering people that I know is needed but I'm not sure is wanted. The only way to find out is to offer them and see what happens.
The ability to do all of this is purely a gift. I just had a small disagreement with someone yesterday who insisted I was unique and wonderful because I have accomplished so much in the face of adversity. I insisted I was not unique and that everything I do and who I am is a gift. I'm totally not who I used to be. I enjoy the compliments but I know for a fact that I have not changed from my own resources. The love and support from friends, the love and strength given to me my higher power - all are the reasons I can do anything.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
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