Thursday, April 30, 2009

Growing Up

I didn't get into trouble today but I flirted with it.

My son was home and I wanted to go over some financial stuff with him. So, naturally I was rehearsing what I wanted to cover. And I did not like my tone. I was seeing his father's face on his shoulders and being pretty bitchy while I talked to that face. I realized that I was a bit 'T' in the land of HALT and that I wanted to go off in someone's presence like a self pitying bomb.

In short, I realized that my motivation was not in the right place. Rather than sharing information, I wanted to exert my power on someone vulnerable and make them feel bad. So I decided not to go there. Discussion postponed until a better time.

What's good about today is that I can honor the small voice inside that urges me to pause and spend a moment to think it over before I rush into action.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Thanks to my 4th follower I'm thinking about progress and what that means or what I want it to mean. If I have a goal, I guess it would be emotional sobriety, the ability to be peaceful most of the time, most days. But the tricky part is that it seems I must go through trouble to get there, as we have all agreed in some meeting or another, it's the tough times that stimulate us to grow. When I am in the midst of funk I can have the presence (presents!) of mind to remember that I will come out of this feeling better, eventually.

One thing about progress that I don't like is that it indicates a linear flow, like from bad to good, unfocused to focused, asleep to enlightened. I think there is more to us than that. I love to think that there is so much more to us than we will ever know, the movie, What the Bleep!, was excellent in that regard. Quantum physics, who knew?

So, I think that progress can be real. I am happy to be happy. In the holy/higher powered/universal presence that cannot be named I don't know if what I do is significant or pleasing. Just for today, I can stay in the present, remember that this too shall pass, give thanks that I am not in pain and pray for those who are 'still out there'. Blessed Be.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Things To Be Grateful For

Look at that, I have three (seems like more if I spell it!) followers. I am proud to be in your ranks. I'm just feeling run of the mill blessed today. My mother fell and broke her wrist over the weekend, had a plate put into it today, my sister is local to her and can help her through it. Mom is 89 and my sister is in her 60's. I'm grateful that they are in good health and that even though we've never been close, we've never been estranged. I'm grateful that my neighbors are doing well, the dad just came home from major surgery and the son (my son's best friend) was headed towards an appendectomy yesterday. I work in healthcare and I am one of it's biggest critics but I am grateful that there is skillful help for people in need.

I'm grateful to be a little removed from my thoughts and feelings, mostly I can think about what I want to say, I can know a feeling is just a feeling and I know that the only thing important is what is in this moment. That is where the magic lives. And you and I are in this moment together.

Monday, April 27, 2009

This 'N That

Am still actively taking care of myself. Making easy nice meals, eating orderly instead of haphazardly. Went for a walk/run, felt a groaning muscle, remembered that I am supposed to do something different on alternate days, made myself stop (not so hard!) and sit by a creek (I am lucky, lucky, lucky) to simply look around and listen.

Someone at work gave me Annie Dillard's book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, to look at since they know I'm a reader. It is so lovely, every paragraph is a poem. I'll leave you with this . . .

To sleep, spiders and fish; the wind won't stop, but the house will hold. To shelter, starlings and coot; bow to the wind.

What's good about today is that I can remember to slow down and savor.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Brain is Backwards

It's 7ish on a beautiful Sunday morning and I caught my brain telling me of all the things that might not work out today. Silly, silly brain. I am much more interested in what can happen. Hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Character Defects or Where I Missed the Mark

I don't remember where I read that the true historic interpretation of the word 'sin' is 'to miss the mark'. That is such a loving definition of this loaded word that I have to adopt it. To me, there is also the implicit meaning that one can pick oneself up, dust self off and try again which is also a loving piece of our program. And hopeful too.

In reading from the CoDA big book today in the Step Six section, it makes the statement that ''our character defects emerge to provide us a sense of power-false as it is." And also, "our defects of character may have served us well, even though they're destructive".

I've had decades of being 'want-less and need-less'. That was protective covering in a family where this was modeled. Stoicism was the goal, it showed that you were strong. I was the youngest by far, knew I was a mistake/burden and decided early on to go with the flow, to be strong, keep my head down and don't attract attention. Like the adults in my life.

It also served to provide a sense of power, I felt that I avoided hurt, it was about controlling everything that you could. It made me suspicious of other people, because if I had to be right then that meant that everyone else was wrong. I'm thankful that I no longer bear a grudge toward my family. No one could teach me what they did not know.

So now I can name it. Say it aloud. Pray for it to be removed. Stay in the day and know that my higher power provides for me, the world provides for me to grow and learn and I am right where I should be.

What's good about today is remembering that I swim in grace.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Time to screen my comments!

Just a gorgeous day today. It all leaves me quite calm and rather speechless. Imagine that!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Taking Care of Myself

Eating right, exercising, spending time with others outside of home and work. Self care works for me so quickly that I am amazed and motivated to practice it more seriously rather than freaking out and applying it like an emergency band-aid.

I notice a lot of feelings coming out today. I mean it in a positive way. With nourishment comes growth. With plants, with me.

What's good about today is that some days are easy. If I pay attention to self care I will have more easy days. And I always want more . . .

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

1) I am rested and more nearly my best self.
2) I was midway throught the movie, Earth, when I realized why it opened today. I liked it but the predator scenes made me very nervous. If it makes you nervous too, I will tell you that there is no blood. I don't think that I was ever abused but I freak when I feel cornered or surrounded. Tolle would call it 'the pain body' effect. If you go to see the movie, make sure that you stay for the credits.
3) It makes me laugh to think that we know what things should be called. I just clicked on the astronomy picture on my blog and it names some of the constellations. As if an animal mind would see it that way. Or if the 'almighty presence' perceives it that way. But we humans study things and name them and study them some more and thus it is so. I read that maybe amoebas have the only real experience of things because they don't make stories up about it. Maybe I'm still affected by the movie and watching the intricate lives of animals and smile at the presumption that we know what makes them tick.
4) I need to embrace 'moral superiority' as a defect of mine.
5) At least I'm smiling!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Tired gets me every time. Makes me feel like I'm losing my marbles. Hopeless, wantless, needless. I got through work okay. But otherwise, am out of commission. I did take care of myself enough to get some quality food into the house and got myself to a meeting. I exploded on my son, I save it for the ones I love.

Will pick out the shrapnel later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday is always a mish mash for me. Yesterday, my 17 year old son injured my car, now it needs body work if we are ever to open the passenger door again, much less drive with pride. My mind goes blank when I think of what to do about the car situation. I need to keep it simple-Get Estimate First.

My mind goes blank when I think about blogging, about the actual process. The first few days I was ecstatic. Now it just feels like I'm talking to myself. Which reminds me of journaling in Alanon. I did feel like it always helped. But about a year ago I read a bunch of my old notebooks. I admired where I was at but realized that years later the questions/breakthroughs that I had were the same as they are now.

My mind is just blank today. But I did nothing for which I need to make amends. A personal Hippocratic oath, Do No Harm!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inner Purpose

I feel cautiously optomistic on this Sunday night. I want to get through the week without hating my job too much. It has to do with that post a few days ago where I was obsessed with a geographical cure. I know that it is probably 'me' in these incidences, that's progress. I read some Tolle that will help me.

It says that if I start getting too wrapped up in my circumstances it is because I have taken my eye off the ball. That being my inner purpose. And that is just to be. Not to force anything or any specific awareness. It is just to be. So, do you think anyone will notice if I sit around with my eyes closed tomorrow? The better to see my inner purpose!

What is good about today is that I can be hopeful about 'doin' it differently.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Celebrate the Day

Not that there is any thing special about today. Not until you get to a meeting and are reminded that it is something to celebrate. I get to my 7am meeting only on Saturdays, it is an open AA mtg, round robin and the theme is always 'what's good about today?'

In my experience of meetings, there is an intensity at AA mtgs that is not often present in my other ones. I resonate with that spirit because I, too, am there to save my ass. Meetings save me and when I get too far away from them I leave myself vulnerable to my own worst thoughts. Even with that help I am amazed at how close desperation can be, it is around the corner ready to catch me off guard.

So, I absolutely agree with the old timers. Hit your knees, go to meetings and ask for help. And today I heard the instruction to 'celebrate the day'. That's why I need to listen, through the mouths of others I hear the voice of my higher power who I choose to call God.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday, April 17 2009

Tonight I'm thinking about self care. That phrase 'self care' always brings the image of loofah pads and bath salts to mind but it is more than that. A relative new comer at a meeting once said that she thought of it in terms of taking something off her shoulders and I have carried that with me. Sometimes if I am not at a meeting it is because I am taking care of myself.

This past week I went to an Alanon mtg that I had been leaving at the bottom of my list for the last two months. I am nearing the end of my three year commitment as group rep and will probably never attend this meeting with the continuity that I showed three years ago. But times change, we change and meetings change. One thing that I have always appreciated about Alanon is that there is no recrimination when one shows up after being gone for a number of meetings. At it's purest, it is truly a program of love and kindness.

So I attended the meeting last week. I brought a different me, refreshed from the absence, I came in differently, brought the body and noticed how my expectations had eased and enjoyed seeing the familiar faces. Thought how maybe I would come a little more often, in a less active mode, take my seat as a compassionate witness.

What's good about today is that healing can be taking place, when I least expect it, often when I am not trying so hard.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 16

I love to learn from those who have gone ahead of me. Perhaps that is a co-dependent feature to believe that others are ahead of me. I think that if I put them on a pedestal then that would be my old co-dependent ways. I'm just saying that I can appreciate what others have to say and that started in Alanon. At that time, I lived with the active disease and I needed the experience of those who had some recovery. The slogans and sayings were comfort in some mighty long nights. They carried an essence of truth that I could believe in and take to heart.

Accepting Life on Life's Terms. I still feel a sense of relief when I write those words. My son was 7 or 8 when I entered program and I remembered thinking that if he could learn a few simple truths such as that, he would have a better chance at living a happy life. It's years later and yet just repeating those words still lifts burdens from my shoulders and I feel lean and clean. I cannot change what I cannot change. The pain is in the struggle . . .

My parting words are the tag line that Garrison Keillor (sp??) gives at the end of his Writer's Almanac Show on Public Radio . . . 'be well, do good work and keep in touch' . . . such love and wisdom abound in the world if I can keep an open mind.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sigh . . . is it spring fever . . . is it the collective tax day heebie jeebies affecting me? I'm feeling the very strong desire for a geographical cure. My busy, busy brain would like to have me believe that I would be SO much happier and relaxed in a different living situation. The reality (and my safeguard!) is that I cannot plan a cure right now.

So, back to reality on reality's terms. That is no fun for my brain that likes to plot and strategize. I guess Eckhart Tolle would say that the ego always wants to be 'one up', always in control and steering the boat. Even when the boat is tied to the dock! And it is not a bad dock!

One thing that program has done for me has been to take myself and my thoughts less seriously. I used to always believe my thoughts were important and were a springboard for necessary action. Now I know that they come, they go. My best thinking brought me into program and it certainly keeps me here!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It was a good day today, it's funny how program changes what makes it a 'good day'. I think that prior to Alanon a good day meant that everything went my way and that I got what I wanted. Today a good day means that I stayed 'right sized', that I observed boundaries and that I was kind to others and patient with myself. Blessed Be.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

In the last few months I have read less and less from the Alanon daily readers and more from one by Melody Beattie entitled The Language of Letting Go. I'm not a huge Beattie fan but when she 'hits it right, she really nails it' so I keep hanging on for those moments. The reader came into my hands from another program member, I really love it when that happens.

Anyway, the theme of today's reading is to put martydom aside and enjoy the day. We can go through the day making ourselves feel depressed, anxious and deprived. One of the most valuable things that I heard in Alanon was that I could start my day over any time that I wanted. In the beginning of my recovery it meant that I needed to take the focus off what the alcoholic was doing and put it on myself and my choices.

Nowadays (won't make it past spellcheck!) I don't have an addict to blame but I can sure turn my beedy eye on co-workers. I notice that I can expect strange God-like perfection from bosses, I can expect them to be the perfect parent and the perfect role model. Of course they are human, no more or less than the rest of us in a higher powered world.

And so it falls back on me to make it a good day for myself. And with practice and prayer, I can.

And that is what is good about today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

Well, I lost another posting before I could post it! Experience tells me that all things improve with time and repetition so I will persevere. The funny thing is that the post was on walking through fear (of exposing my thoughts/feelings in a blog) and now that I finished it, I can't identify with the fear that I had! Sort of like having the meeting before the meeting.

The other thing that hit me is that it is Easter, the major Christian holiday of resurrection. The garden variety of fears that I have are nothing to stack up against true survival fears, the kind that people endure on an everyday basis. It humbles me and gives me perspective.

What's good about today is that I truly have no problems in God's world.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So, I'm a blogger now! One who lost her first post! Will I quit? NO (well, not yet, anyway.)

Yes, I lost my lovely first posting. It was well thought out, it flowed, it was just enough, not too much. GONE. With this insult to my well being I will segue into how I came to be in 12 step programs. It DOES remind me of the few weeks before program came into my life. Thought I knew what I was all about, thought I had it down, it was all about me, me and me. The all powerful me knew how it should go. My self concept was all about being the 'helper', the organizer, the manager, the one who had the birds eye view on it.

Can you guess that my first program was Alanon?

I immersed myself in that program for the last 7-8 years. On the fringe, I would go to open AA meetings and always get something out of them. Then wouldn't go to another one for 6 months or so. My fervor for Alanon lessened as the years went on without another addict in my life. I'm a step girl, knew that I wouldn't go through life without program as a route to my higher power.

An acquaintance that I saw a couple times a year always mentioned CoDA as saving her life. I'm telling you that she always came out with that somewhere in her conversation. Come to find out that she had also started program life in Alanon. Anyway, after a year or so (quick to jump into action is not me) I went to a couple meetings. Then I went to a convention a couple months later. It sold me, it rocked me.

A month later we were headed into the holiday season, always a tough time for me and I don't really know why. Same friend told me that when she started CoDA, her sponsor told her to go to 30 mtgs in 30 days. Any 12 step meeting would do. I was desperate to get through the holidays in reasonably good shape so I decided to give it a whirl.

Crucial to my decision was the discovery of an open AA mtg close by that met 6 days a week at 7am. It was a godsend (interesting word) in several ways. First of all, it was one of the snowiest Decembers within recent memory and it always snowed on Thursday nights which messed me up getting to my CoDA mtg. More importantly, the theme was always 'what's good about today' which kept it upbeat and full of gratitude. So, 30 days turned into another 30 days and then 100 and so you get the idea. I pushed the meetings pretty hard for about a year and it helped me tremendously. It stripped a lot away and it changed me little by slowly. And for this I am grateful.

What's good about today is change and growth, may my mind and heart always be open to both.

Easter Eve, April 11, 2009