Well, here we are, you and me. Nothing else is new. My mother is in long term care and is waiting to die. She is in a 2 person room and prefers to have her curtain completely pulled around her. And she lays there in bed.
My son has been playing video games for 15 years. He is briefly interrupted by meals and compulsory school commitments. He attends to his screen and blows things/people up and that is what he does.
I go to work and put reports together. The reports go to the government and report that people are ill enough to need our medical care. The more that I complete, the better my day.
The day started off great with a morning meeting. It felt very loving this morning, I always say that they are my family but it was ever so much closer this morning. There are some people who are out there and we can basically only pray for those active in the illness, the sick and suffering.
My son went to a young people's meeting and, for that, I'm grateful.
I am making a new friend in program and, for that, I'm grateful.
This morning before the meeting started, the woman next to me were talking and I had a huge realization. It was that large parts of me still hurt but I dropped a large burden as I drank in a healthy part that she shared with me.
I am healed through other's sharing but I haven't experienced it for a long time.
Miracles in God's world if I do the footwork. Excuse me, now, I need to take something away from the dog!
I've been here, lurked a little but otherwise ocuppied. I can't really explain it, just dropped off the radar awhile.
Anyway . . .
Puppy has just grown overnight, she looks bigger, she runs faster, is easier to manage in the bathroom department. And has gotten WILD. She jumps up in the air, flies around and in circles. And was actually barking at my other dog today. He was wagging his tail all the time while trying to act disapproving.
My 18 year old man-child called from a police dept early Friday morning because he had been charged with poss of weed with intent to distribute. I went to my meeting at 7am, asked for help and we went up to bring him and the car home. To lawyer up, or not? Local opinion is, yes. To get private attorney or court appointed? What do you old hands think?
That's enough for this post.
What's good about today is that I will be lead by my faith and not my fear.
She's 10 weeks old, hearing impaired, very sweet, svelte (about 5#). A Jack Russell by breed, an angel by temperament. White with a half inch of brown on her tail. Her daddy's name is Casper, her mom's name is Smiley. Given the month, we've decided to name her 'Boo'.
She goes to work with me. Pretty sacked out today, laying on her blankie, wakes up to chew her bone, sacked out. She is a cuddle queen.
I'm in love. I didn't know that I needed a puppy.
God worked through you people and now I have a puppy. I can't wait until it's morning and we see what's good about today!
PS Spellcheck does not recognize the spelling of blankie. I bet you all know what it means.
Fabulous Footwear Fortune Friendliness of strangers
Faith Forgiveness Faith
Fortitude Faith Food For All
Did I mention FAITH??
I was at my adult ed class last night and it came to me that although one of my Favorite F(ph)rases (hee hee) is 'God is everything or God is nothing' I sometimes don't conduct myself as if I believe that. Too much lately, I have descended into 'Carol is everything or Carol is nothing'.
Now, isn't that nuts, talk about an instant depressant!! If I remember how it's supposed to go, I think I'll be all right.
Loved talking to you, now I will try to settle down after my 12 hour work day, yikes!
Sorry to be gone. Took the dog to work with me this week just to have a change of pace. Otherwise known as fun.
I feel ashamed that I feel bleak. Read Frunoblax who thinks it can go away with the steps. And the sugar craving. I'm ready to ask that it all goes away. Forty more years of adulthood ahead of me, we're long lived in my family.
Step 1 admitted I was powerless. That's what's good about today.
Someone said something really sweet at a meeting last week, he said that a (12 step) meeting is the only gathering of people that just want the best for each other, to see each other succeed.
I'm hoping that I can say the same about my religious education class that meets weekly for the school year. Last week I shared my spiritual autobiography and I feel good about it. Already, I feel more understood and intimate with others. About half the class has already given theirs and they have had their hard times with cancer and house fires, I already feel less judged by them.
My dog is a new man. He has been blessed by Mother Carolyn and been cooed at by many sweet women today. His eyes are heavy and he is napping in his chair. I, on the other hand, will stay up until at least 9!
I've been a little LT this week, that's lonely, tired. Do you know the bedsore professionals have stolen our H-A-L-T? It was part of a power point that I saw, H is for history, A is for associated disease, L is for look at it, T is for temperature. Is nothing sacred??
My new priority is resting. I'm keeping this short, work is overwhelming but I know it would be 10 times worse without my program. Relief will come. In the meantime, I'm sick of myself enough to say that I've given up the right of suffering, it's a part of me and I'm treating it like a somewhat tiresome friend for whom I try to remember compassionately.
What's good about today is the journey without the expectation of destination, God is Everything or God is Nothing. Most definitely, God is Everything.
Guess what? During the Roman Empire there was a civil war that lasted 20 years. People were so thankful when it was over that they lauded their leader, Octavius (Caesar) as Lord and King, they were so grateful that the fighting was done. The Prince of Peace came and put the word out and people wondered if victory really meant peace, or whether it was just a different kind of suppression. A republic ceases to be what it is and becomes an empire instead when order is based on military rule.
To speak one's truth becomes treason when dissension is outlawed. That was two thousand years ago and wars are still waged in the name of peace.
When will we learn and when will peace lovers be seen as commonplace instead of radical and suspicously un-patriotic? We seem forced to repeat history over and over. Blessed be.
I was in an emotional fugue yesterday, swung around in a different direction & struggling to figure it out. The only soothing thing antidote was to come across that quote in yesterday's post, 'with compassion, welcome the demon'.
That must have taken hold of me overnight. And it married with the comment often heard at AA meetings, 'I've given up my right to drink'.
What happened was that somewhere in my emotional stew, I realized that whatever condition my soul or my brain were in, each day would go on pretty much like the others. Saturday, do my chores. Sunday, go to church, etc.
I've given up my right to suffer. My suffering is an inside manifestation, it's what I default to, it has become a bad habit for me. To deny it would be to ask for more trouble, but instead I acknowledge it as a part of my make up. But I will NOT give it anymore energy. It is like a CD in my collection that I recall but that I'm not interested in playing any longer.
What's good about today is a change in my play book.
Words by Robt Hunter, music by Jerry Garcia (last line of the song, Ripple)
One of the old timers at the meeting and I were talking afterwards last week and he was joyfully commenting that it felt like people were talking about coming home. There was much gratitude and peace, I do feel on the fringe because I'm not chemically dependent, trying to stay sober. I'm just a hurtin' person, going with what works, trying to find my way home.
The older I get, the less attention I pay to what people say or think or hope. I notice what they do, how they live and what they work for.
"Where's home for you?" a stranger asks a fellow traveler on a plane. "Wherever she is" comes the reply, as the man points at his wife.
Okay, back to me. Did I tell you that I have started taking an Education for Ministry evening class? It will be half & half studying the Bible, synthesizing analysis of the text/culture of the time and exploring our own spirituality. I took it because I want to know the richness that is there, a sort of 'heady' reasoning. Now, it occurs that I may experience profound growth dispite my lack of expectation. Can you stand it?? The world and ourselves as part of it hold such amazing opportunities.
I can't believe it's been a week since I posted. Work has been a 50+ hour/week deal and I'm taking an 'Education for Ministry' class once a week that is pretty intense. Also juggling bank accounts to pay son's tuition and know that I have to apply for financial aide. It's on the list!
Along with finishing my indoor & outdoor projects (official compost pile is now set up) before I start another round of them. But six days a week I get my morning meeting in and it keeps me right sized, higher powered centered and grateful for the 'problems' that I have.
Oh, yeah, we weathered our annual state survey this week just fine so onward and upward.
This past weekend I had a lot of trouble staying in the present. My vacation was coming to a close and I couldn't stop thinking about work and focus on more valuable things.
So, this morning I went to my am meeting and stayed a little later than usual on a work day, determined to hear something that would restore me to sanity. What came to me was that besides being fearful, I was stuck in self-pity. I was worrying that I would have a lot to do, that people would be leaning on me.
And I remembered the St Francis prayer and determined that I would spread some joy and hope instead of looking for others to support me. I'm not sure that I accomplished it but I know that I finished the day in much better shape than I started it.
What was good about today is that I let program lead me to my better self.
1) Both/All fellowships, AA, Alanon etc. Our common culprit is addiction, we are the affected and the afflicted and sometimes both. Let's not fight with each other, that is the disease winning.
2) On the Writer's Almanac (NPR) this morning, I heard about O.Henry, I'm not sure whether today is his birthday or the anniversary of his death. He died at age 47 of alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver. Just think how much we miss because addiction takes people before their time. Children miss their fathers, the world is cheated of their music, art and literature. We've have missed a few Bill Gates in the mass of people who have died an untimely death related to alcohol use. What a different world if we had the use of everyone's talents.
3) Oops, can't remember. Got too wrapped up in #2.
What's good about today is that I get another day to play in my life. I will try to finish more projects than I start ;>)
Sorry for the absence, I logged on Saturday but had trouble getting around courtesy of Earl.
So, short cut to now, all is good in the hood. I have a week off work as long as nothing hideous is going on and they have to call me in to help. My son, my son starts college tomorrow. I also will accompany him to the DMV and pay his fine so that he gets his driving privileges. I rehearsed how I was going to state that this business was between him and the court but when I saw his school schedule (in the opposite direction of my work) and knowing that he has to get a job and that I have been working gigunda hours. Well, I had to re-think it. And voted to be an enabling but happier mother & pay his bill out of his college fund. Therefore, in theory, he needs to pay the fund back. Yeah, I don't think he's going to take that too seriously, either.
Ah, well, wear my recovery like a loose garment.
Adios. What's good about today is that I've already been to a meeting, posted on my blog and I'm off to meet friends for a serious game of miniature golf and will return home to continue digging up my front yard for more garden space. Let's all it awhile in the shade today!
Nothing like angst to make me a more regular blogger! Continue to feel a little better, I went out for lunch, went to the gym instead and had a session, I knew it was the break that would allow me to put in a long day.
Tomorrow I'll take a long break again and help my son with a ride to continue to take placement tests to see if he can do college level work. Sigh. It will be cooler tomorrow and I am supposed to have next week off which will be great. But, I'm keeping it in the day and the day is GOOD.
What's good about today is that I feel more at ease in my own skin.
I took care of myself today, took myself out to lunch at Las Olas, our very own New England taqueria. Yummy, fresh food. Kept me going through the afternoon. Taking good care of ourselves, what a concept!
As a fellow 12 stepper (hello, Hugh, where did you go?) said, 'why is it so hard to do the things that help us?'
What's good about today is that we get a new day to try it all again.
I forgot I have an anxiety problem. Which means I have a fear problem and that means I have an anger problem. It doesn't mean that I'm a bad person or that I don't try hard enough or that I'm not 'fit' and I don't pray enough. I just forgot to attend to it and keep it up there in front of my vision. It is the filter that I view everything through.
If I know what I have, I can turn it over to a power greater than myself.
Part of my feel better campaign was to go to church. She (rector) said that we come for many reasons and that some of us want to feel better about ourselves and be happier and that Jesus, of course, was much more radical than that. Which made me feel even more sure that I am so not worthy since I am pretty self involved.
Anyway, I need to get over myself, I'll just keep praying and putting myself in holy places and be patient, trudge the road to happy destiny.
PS My vampire heroine, Zoey, died at the end of book #6 saving her human boyfriend and her Goddess markings disappeared, which is ominous.
Feeling a weird today. Maybe it's reading too many vampire books, I'm polishing off a series on the 'summer reading for high school students' counter, written by a teacher and her daughter. Sort of a Hogwarts school for vampire training. This latest #5 or 6 centers around making good vs evil choices and I'm wigged out. My son is away a second night 'camping' and as much as I say I like it, anxiety & paralysis both slip in to me. I don't do much except zone out and read, maybe that is called relaxing. How come I feel close to a panic attack?
What's good about today is that soon it will be tomorrow.
I'm melancholy. I hate admitting that. Suffering is going on around me. The son may not be able to do college level work, according to his placement testing. He did not seem to be taking it too hard as he left for a camping trip yesterday.
Two of my friends would like to take my co-worker's job slot if she doesn't come back. They believe themselves to be suffering in their present jobs. The three of us were around a big table at a workshop yesterday. I realized that I need to stay neutral about this. Especially when seated feet away from them.
Have not heard from missing co-worker for over 12 weeks as she has extended FMLA, whatever is going on I don't believe is fun. Just randomly let me add that an acquaintance told me Sunday that a mutual acquaintance (her ex-partner) came very close to dying from a suicide attempt a few days before.
My mother getting shooed from the front doors of her nursing home. She is used to life ad lib and now wears an arm bracelet that beeps near exits. She blames my sister & brother in law for 'getting their revenge on me'.
Suffering. All life is suffering, isn't that the Buddhist wisdom? Let's practice kindness in what we do for we are so fragile, all of us.
Someone celebrating their anniversary used that phrase, "a whole new life", referring to learning to live in sobriety. I don't have sobriety to worry about but I agree that a spiritual awakening does lead to a new life. My thought is that I'm not so much in recovery as I'm in discovery.
What's good about today is that keeping an open heart lets in new awareness and joy.
Borrowed that subtitle from Garytude, his subtitle, my title-title.
This is the third incident that I have come across virtually the same message from different sources in the past two days. The common theme is that you cannot dwell on unhappy things. One source put it this way, 'banish unhappy thoughts from your mind'. I like that, in cognitive therapy terms it is called thought stoppage. So, if, just by chance I am beating myself up this weekend, at my first awareness, I stop that thought and substitute something else, usually a prayer or a sentence of gratitude.
I can use this strategy readily because I think most of my sad thoughts are delusional. They are incidents of forgetting that I am a bad judge of 'the truth' so I just give a mental burp and it's gone.
What's good about today is that I'm teachable. Again and again.
I've felt 'out of it' today, couldn't wake up, did one little project, otherwise have hugged the couch with a book, snacking ALL day. Feeling nervous, anxious for no particular reason, am wondering if I am channeling some of my mother's anxiety, if I find out that they transferred her to the dementia unit today it will be more than coincidence.
Am not labeling this with negative stuff, just took me all day to realize that I could have prayed about it but I only just had the awareness.
This too shall pass. One thing that I've gained is that I don't take these uncomfortable times seriously, it turns on a dime. No mistakes in God's world.
This has been my topic of choice in the last couple days. It never occurred that I could exercise some control over my day by using my attitude because I thought I was at the mercy of the situation I was in.
When work starts to get complicated and overwhelming I get anxious over the many issues that I can't control. But I can ask myself if this affects me today. Usually not. I can TAKE the attitude that I will only think about what is happening today AND I will not forget about my relationship with a higher power. That is where the power is, not in the material world.
What's good about today is that especially in the material world of disappointments, losses & ego, this too shall pass. And that's what's good about today.
But a good week, I got all psyched reading Cat's blog about body building. I go to Planet Fitness at least twice a week, I approached it differently today, as if I needed to get FIT. Then went to the grocery store and bought protein foods--all vegetable, of course!
And I had some personal disappointments at work. And my mom is grieving the loss of her independence. That is hard for me to know. My poor sister has to witness it.
But, when all is said is done, I only have this moment in these surroundings. Today is always pretty good. I didn't take anything on that wasn't mine today. A program friend paid me a compliment this morning. It was the compliment of thanking me for saying my appreciation for her being there, she doesn't come around much.
1) Did you hear that big clunking noise earlier today? It was the sound of my mother's heart dropping to her feet. My sister and her husband took Mom to the nursing home and left without her. Mom was not liking it. My sister and husband feel like turds. They did not tell her ahead of time which I can understand. I learned the hard way that Mom is capable of a one woman sit-in in matters much smaller than this.
2) How long is an 18 year old allowed to float without job or school? I know I'm jumping the gun so that's why I'm talking to you peeps, instead of real people, hee hee. I'm letting off a little steam. Maybe it's time for him to live with his dad. My ex fought down and dirty for him 10 years ago, it could be his turn, now.
What's good about today is talking to others and then listening.
Happy that my rector (just like saying that) & her partner are back from vacation on the Maine coast. I was telling someone the other day that I hadn't gone away for a long time. He thought it was because I'm content and I have to agree.
Happy that because of HOURS of painting, my deck and it's chairs look spiffy. They are further decorated by a bunch of plants that I picked up and will hope to weather over until spring. Nothing terribly exotic, coreopsis, yarrow, purple euphorbia, houtanyea, red penstemon, a couple of decorative grasses, one on each side of the door, I'm such a yuppie. Is that even a word anymore?
Happy that the conversation I overheard next door about the husband defending his drinking just stayed a conversation.
Happy that the neighbor noise factor, little girls SSSHHHRRRIIEEEEKKKING in the pool, the din of 70's music playing and the chainsaw was a little less today.
Happy that I stayed for coffee after church. I willed myself to do it. And was told by an acquaintance that she has gastric cancer to be operated on soon. That's why I need to show up.
So, I am happy that tomorrow dawns a new day, will reunite with my daily morning peeps and see how everyone is and take another stab at living one day at a time, being grateful and working my program.
One of the statements at a meeting that I love to hear and love to repeat is that 'my best thinking got me here'. I usually add that it will keep me 'here' for decades to come.
My son has been out of town at a friend's house for a couple days. In the time that I haven't seen him, he probably hasn't signed up for classes, gotten a job or done much about that Selective Service item of mail that came last month.
He probably hasn't killed or robbed anyone, either. And you drivers in the Merrimac Valley are a little safer while he is without a license for another month.
So far, I can tell you that he is a more like his father than he is like me. One of the things that I thought of when I was divorcing his father was that he was bound to be sharper with a parent who didn't have to think a bit before telling you that 2X3 is 6 (not really 5 which is what first comes to his mind). Anyway, I'm not trashing his father, he has other good attributes. Just not enough of them.
Nature or nurture? They both have very slow natures. If something spills, they both have the same slow look at it, diffuse confusion on their faces . . . I confess that I don't know how long it would take for them to take action because I've already jumped for a paper towel.
My point is that I can plan whatever I want and my higher power is more and more amused. What's good about today is knowing that my will is just that. It may not be what's in the cards. Come on, by blog or comment, give me an example of your best thinking!
Just claiming my page. A point was made in a meeting this week about the importance of keeping routines. I'm a pretty random type so that does not instinctively make sense to me. But I'm seeing some of the benefits. It saves me from indecision, easier than making it up each day, easier to keep good (mental & physical) health routines.
What's good about today is staying in the process and taking the focus off the outcome.
Nice Alanon meeting tonight, my old home meeting. The chairwoman read something out of the bulletin about black and white thinking. It became the focus of her share and it resonated with me.
Lately, I've been much calmer, just letting people have their opinions, detaching with love, I guess. At work I can identify with them as they try to be the smart one, the experienced one or the powerful one. But I just feel like I'm passing through on my way in life, I focus on what I need to finish that day, keeping my head where my feet are.
Nothing is black and white anymore, or right and wrong. My hackles don't go up like they used to when I felt that someone was telling me that I was wrong. I'm not perfect but I do try to just take it in, let them know that I'll think about it or I gently set them straight if it is something simple. I've been able to leave my ego at the door.
The only way I can do this is if I start my day in a sacred place and end it with a prayer. The in between stuff is just details which I accept on those terms, tomorrow is another day with another story. The spiritual beginning and end to the day keep me right sized, the size of a human, just like ants on a anthill, humans on a human-hill.
My dirty little secret? I can practice this in meetings, at work or with neighbors. But, put me in a relationship or a stressful job and it's a tough road. I would like to practice this within a relationship some time. My appreciation goes out to all of you in a relationship, it's as tricky as it gets, I think.
What's good about today is knowing where some of my defects lay.
Those of you in Alanon (and those of you who should be!) will understand how hard it is to stand by while someone goes through their own pain. Well, to be honest, it may be more my pain than his. My son quit his job to take a landscaping job that was supposed to start this week. He hasn't heard from 'the guy'. I encouraged him to call him. He has told him that he has the job, it is certainly not too pushy to know when and where he starts.
Deep breath. I said it once and I said it kindly.
Same (only) son hasn't signed up for community college classes yet. Same son hasn't saved any money for court fines due in 4 weeks.
I have always liked the program slogan of saying it once, saying it more often is nagging. I think I said it more than once but I'm done giving advice. Consequences will come, won't be comfortable for either of us. Or, he will solve it in his own way. Either way spells a growing experience for HIM. Not really my business. My job is to love him and not demean him. That's easy enough. But without program, I'd be Jazzed with a capital J. With program, I am jazzed with a little j. Big difference.
Love to you all. When it's time to pray for others during the service, I pray for all my mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. We are all connected and in this together, Blessed Be. And that is what is terrific about today.
Another cool day, under 80 degrees. As the stand in rector said today, think of Carolyn (minister) and Cindy vacationing in Maine basking in the fog.
I'm still painting, washing the car, washing the dog. Bless the neighbor's son, yesterday he took down a tree for me and a forsythia bush the size of a living room. I have to laugh because it looks like a tornado came through that corner of the property, leaf and small branch detritus on the ground and a big open area minus the eyesores.
It has been a great weekend of fixing one thing and then another. I will be glad to get back to work tomorrow and my morning meeting, a big source of my socialization. Other than nodding to church people and my son and I passing like ships, I didn't see anyone I knew this weekend.
Back to my peeps in the morning. Oh yes, and as for you peeps. I saw a car with ham radio license plates today. It made me nostalgic for growing up with my dad talking to people all over the world and always having K8PLD plates. I might need some vanity plates to keep it going, 'cuz I talk to people all over the world, too.
What's good about today is family, biological family, 12 step family, family of man and woman. We are all one. God help us to get to the point that all of us know that.
Just a few things to say, claim my seat so to speak.
Unbelievable how a 10-15 degree drop in temperature can put energy back into me. We've had such a warm summer that I forget how it knocks me out. Instead I stew (my father's word!) about what a slacker I am and get grumpier as the dog hair piles up and other chores stay undone.
So, it was beautiful today. I got lots done, like cleaning out my car, painting my outdoor furniture, crossed my neighbor's palm with silver and got two eyesores torn down. On a roll, people!
Just spent a pleasurable half hour catching up on blogs and reading new ones. Sometimes it's fun to see who my blog buddies follow and who they follow and on and on. I keep adding new people to my list, I'm pretty random so you might find anything on it! A positive attitude and gratitude for life are some of the commonalities so maybe it's not so random, after all.
What's good about today is that sometimes it is just IDEAL.
Outside meetings I have a difficult time identifying with others. I just put aside a book by Bill Gates, Senior. I couldn't identify with intact families that grow up with a service ethic, siblings that are different but all end up in leadership positions. Frankly, I don't want to hear it. I'm not sure that I even believe it.
I got an e-mail with attachments from my sister, the Republican. She was proud to send photos of our 2nd cousin, a member of the Director of Finance for Canada, posed with MO and BO. What? She can't even say their names. Or refer to them by their offices, our President and First Lady. The pics are lovely as they are 3/4 views of them as individuals with Sarah, as if they were in your living room.
It got me to thinking about my cousin and his daughter. One would think that nothing disappointing ever happened in their household either. I can't identify with successful people or secret-keepers. I have always had to blab it out.
I love my people. Twelve step people that have been rubbed fuzzy and real by life, just like the velveteen rabbit. They might not be 'all there' or have my interests at heart but they're the real thing. Just like me. Now, I can identify with THAT.
What's good about today is that there are people like me and I have found them.
1) The last thing is first. I watched the local news at 6pm and they covered a story of some kids leaving the slider door open on the back of their house. A bear entered and turned an aquarium over, the fish were still flopping around on the counter, none the worse for wear. It ate some grapes. Something spooked it and it left in a hurry, dropped a large teddy bear on it's way over a stone fence. I saw teddy face down in the grass, must be true.
2)Excerpted from an excerpt (published in The Sun) by Vaclav Havel, Czech playwright, past Czechoslovakian president. He was imprisoned as a dissident before he rose to power & this was taken from a collection of letters to his wife in 1987. He was sitting outside, doing nothing in particular, when . . .
"I seemed to be experiencing, in my mind, a moment of supreme bliss, of infinite joy (all the other important joys, such as the presence of those I love seemed latent in that moment), and though I felt physically intoxicated by it, there was far more to it than that: it was a moment of supreme self-awareness, a supremely elevating state of the soul, a total and totally harmonic merging of existence with itself and with the entire world . . . and yet simultaneously it seems as though one had nothing, that one's happiness were no more than a tragic mirage, with no purpose and leading nowhere . . . this vague anxiety, this breath of infinite nonfulfillment emanating from an experience of the greatest fulfillment, this sensation of terrifying incomprehensibility that blooms in a moment of firmest comprehension, can always be brushed aside like a bothersome piece of fluff. You may wait till the cloud temporarily covering the sun passes by and go on living in peace and delight without asking troublesome questions. But you may also do the opposite: forget about all the "spontaneous meaningfulness" that gave you such intense pleasure, forget about the answer given before the question was posed, and stop precisely at the point where the cold air from the abyss struck you most powerfully--when you felt most intensely that in fact you have nothing, know nothing, and, worst of all, do not even know what you want -- and bravely confront the question that comes to mind in such moments. That is, the genuine, profound, and essentially metaphysical question of the meaning of life.
What's good about today is the ability to be amazed and delighted.
Lately, I've been deluded by images of grandeur such as perfectly executed borders on my gardens, finished sleek & modern rooms in my house, a finely tuned spirituality appreciated by this world and others.
Actually, I am one of moderate emotions, moderate tastes & aspirations. My ego powered imagination would like things that are pretty phenomenal. Mind you, some things do happen but seldom what I expect.
Guess, I'll just keep it in the day, watch my one tomato ripen, say my prayers tonight and thank God for a roof over my head and food in my cupboard. And a special word of appreciation for daily bloggers!
I can't think mean thoughts and keep my equanimity. We learn on a page in an Alanon reader that the word sarcasm derives from the Greek 'sarkos', meaning tearing of flesh. I have an awareness, and so, a degree of self control over that.
Someone mentioned that they are a cynic. So, am I. It allows me to feel very smart and world-wise, it feeds my ego like crazy and it's also a pretty negative attitude. By it's judging nature, it takes me into a one up-manship with others. This takes me out of being right sized. In the moment it means nothing, but internally my soft parts know that I am in disarray, my behavior has not matched my truer, more powerful belief system and parts of me are protesting.
Now that I'm aware of it, I can work on acceptance of it in myself and take the action of praying for it's removal from me.
Yippee, that was easy! What's good about today is going to a daily meeting to get reinforcement for my emotional sobriety.
Isn't that wonderful, heard it in the meeting this am. It's a blessing to be happy and when I remember that I have what I want, it is intensely calming. That's what's good about today.
Thanks for your comments. I will communicate with the leader, keep my eyes and mind open and not worry about it too much either way. No mistakes in God's world. (Except that he could have made Hawaii closer to New Hampshire, shout out to Cloudia!)
I'm really pleased about my equanimity these days, I'm not frightened by circumstances lately. If something came up that didn't strike me 'right', I was angry and had a hard time throwing it off. Now, thank you God, it is easier. I keep my insides better protected against the outside stuff. I notice but then I ask if it is important. It's all small stuff, who said what, who thinks this and who thinks that and what is the rule this week, just human stuff, due to change if you stick around long enough. I think I'll be one of the ones who sticks around.
I have to consult with you spiritual dudes and dudettes. If you've read Autobiography of A Yogi, you may remember that he talks about 'kriya' and that his mission was to bring Eastern practices including kriya (an intense spiritual, physical & emotional experience accomplished through breath exercises that cause carboxylating). His school of practice teaches you how to do this over a period of years, I had the experience in a weekend workshop (not affiliated with them) a few years ago and it was impressive to say the least.
So, fast forward, I reread the book, google the school and there is a group nearby. Like Buddhism, I find the goal oriented isolative behavior not what I perceive as God like. I find it even moreso than most religions, a lot of rules, a hierarchy of 'I can do it longer, deeper, etc'.
I was already second guessing my motives in searching out this group, as in baby wants a spiritual rush! My ego wants people to know what all I've done and I tell her to please not to be stirred up by this. Their egos apparently want to tell me the same. I'm glad to find them, I like to meditate with others. But I'm not into this for spiritual bootie. I like to pay homage to the spiritual world, my mantra is Thank (breath in) You (breath out) and it emphasizes my relationship to that which is bigger. They are way too goal oriented about getting 'somewhere'. Can I attend and ignore it?
My faith is in God who will guide me but I would also like your opinions.
(what kind of spellcheck finds fault with carboxylating? it also suggests substituting dinettes for dudettes)
1) U-pick fruit farm close by has added peaches and corn to their sign today, I will be there tomorrow morning before the heat and the people close in on the place
2) Unfinished Adirondack chairs for $27, marked down from $29. Who can resist? Not me with only 2 outdoor chairs to my name.
3) Morning meeting. They can have a meeting without me but I can't have a meeting without them.
4) I have to tell you that I did go ahead with the re-financing of my house. When I brought my concerns to the loan manager he cleared up a couple things for me. So, the good new was that I asked for help and I got it. And I got the needed reinforcement that I don't always get 'the facts' right (shout out to Mr dAAve).
5) There are non-program friends in my life going through strife. I can listen to them and support them without porously absorbing their angst. They have a higherpower, as I do, and we never know how things will turn out.
6) It feels like 95 in my blogging cubbyhole and thunderstorms just blew through, sweat is rolling down my face, I thank God for civilization that has given me a roof and air conditioning in the next room. Off I go.
Love to all, thank you for my blessings. Good night.
Just claiming my seat. All is well, I'm working hard to keep caught up at work as we are down a staff member in my two person department. But I feel strangely calm because I'm thoroughly minding my own business. There's plenty of people that get off on their own adrenalin and I can be affected by that. So, I smile and make gentle inquiry, enough to show that I'm noticing them and then mentally back off.
My son is getting rides from buddies and says how glad he is to have friends.
My 'wood man' dropped off a cord of wood for this winter. He and his wife leave for Boothbay Harbor, ME in the morning. It is a 20 year old tradition of taking an old car up for a show there. Now, they re-connect with other old car friends. Their children have grown up doing that and now they bring their own children and they all stay at the same place in separate cottages etc so it is a family reunion. I don't have anything like that going on but I still have 20 years to develop a tradition of my own!
I'm going to back out of a re-financing deal. Better now than later. I was going to convert to a 15 year loan but caution is setting in. One of my character defects is being too grim, too stingy with myself. How like me it is to embrace making heavier financial burdens for the dubious goal of being better off 'in the future'. Better to be good to myself in the moment so that I can afford to enjoy myself and be comfortable.
What's good about today is recognizing old, self-sabotaging habits.
Last week I stayed up until midnight and abruptly awoke at 1am. To the side of my bed was a woman facing my bedside table. She was in profile, wavy hair that was chin length and bangs, the details were etched in light. There was something frail about her, she was about average height.
In a nanosecond it hit me that I was alone in the house with doors locked and there was a stranger in my room. I screamed and turned the light on. Of course she was not there. Or, should I say that I could no longer see her? It struck me that my bedroom is pretty dark, I asked myself how I was able to see the details of her hair. I could not bring myself to turn off the light again, I was that unnerved.
What's good about today is you never know what's going to happen.
My serenity has ratcheted up a notch. I am enjoying a detachment from others suffering, I don't know if it's polite to say that. It is an improvement on my eyes welling up at the saddest thought. One benefit of going to my morning group is that I get to know people who are exactly like me in some respects and entirely different in other ways. It's released me from the belief that I should understand everyone. I do not. And I leave them to their lives.
So, it sounds as if I am minding my own business and I have been graced by an absence of judgement, a day at a time. Blessed Be, I am so lucky to be guided by a higher power. So grateful for this moment, that's what's good about today.
Did you feel that? Here's some more. I'll blow a little more cool breeze your way, to the South, that is. Why are so many enduring bloggers from that direction?
I am on day 3 back in the work world. Despite the heat, my brain is staying cool. The lesson I took from my vacation is to slow down, stop the multi-tasking. Take time to do each thing and stop hurrying. Hear what other's say but don't take it personally. So far, so good . . . and soooo . . .
I remember hearing that humility was the greatest of all attributes because it is the gateway to all learning. Today, my lesson in humility is that my son needs less of my help, I cannot paste my 50+ year old head on his rubbery little neck.
So, he got the driving suspension that I had hoped would happen. For 60 days the folks of Merrimac River Valley will be a little safer on the roadways. And I will have a lesson in detachment with love.
Guess who has their first court appearance this week? No, not me, smarties. My son, not even 18 & a half must answer for an unopened beer in the car. Oh, yeah and a 'little' pot. Pulled over for being left of center. Do you think that they know about the subsequent passing on a double yellow line last month?
Enough of that, sounds like he'll face some consequences. I hope, because my disapproval ain't enough to change his behavior. The big and powerful me, imagine that?
Thanks to program, I can still have a good day whether my young male is having one or not. All is right in God's world whether we agree or beg to differ. Now if you southerners would stop throwing those 100 degree temps our way, that would be just fine with us thin skinned New Englanders.
Just copying the name of my astronomy picture, tell me that when you are feeling connected to your HP, you don't feel like a 'Companion . . . Star'.
That's all I really have to say today. Have one more day to enjoy before coming back to my work, does anyone remember in the book Franny and Zooey, how she wanted to pray without ceasing. Anyone out there . . . ?
What's good about today is peace. Peace in our hearts, peace in our homes and peace in the world.
I'm so mellow this week, I hope it doesn't all disappear when I go back to work on Tuesday. My dog has been talking to me about retirement, he would like the times spent side by side on the deck to last forever. A simple life certainly seems best, even down to eating mostly raw things and complicated pastries that someone else made.
Simple things and enjoyment, maybe I will hang a sign on my door that declares it EDEN! If only to remind myself that happiness surrounds me if only I would pay attention and slow down.
Thank you for listening to me. You're what's good about today.
I just finished a book on spirituality called The Subtle ___ . Believe me, it wasn't that great, I skimmed along waiting for it to slam me with meaning but the moment never came. The best stuff, I think (besides scriptural texts), that is the commentaries, are written with a fullness that comes with program exposure. There are some writers like Tolle that you know have some program depth though they never give themselves away.
Obviously, I am biased on the subject but I just have to say that we are a spiritual organization, a zillion people strong for good reason.
I am loving my 10 days off of work. Each day has been a pleasure, nothing to do but I am doing anything that I want. No hurrying allowed, that is the only rule. My son is bobbing along as well, it has a sweetness about it, the summer after high school graduation. The weather idyllic this week.
An easy week to remember that I am just a spark of spirit living a human life until it is time to shed my earth pajamas and slip away into another world. No need to judge or suffer. It is always the moment to turn my thoughts to that great power beyond comprehension, keeping faith that all is well.
Just read a new book by Aimee Bender which was wonderful. As in, I would like to move in to the book. Or it feels as if it has moved into my body. Very exciting stuff for me. Also exciting was the Yogananda spiritual meditation group last night.
What's good about today is that there is something that I can respect and love, a channel toallthat isthat I don't have to feel the edges of not belonging. There is a place for me.
What keeps me coming to AA meetings is that I hear people wanting what I want. We all want MORE. Unless I realize it, unless I catch myself in that unending projecting state of mind, I will manufacture continual desire for something MORE.
I can wish for MORE material things, friendships, deeper experiences with my higher power, there is nothing that I can't be greedy about. I have a better chance becoming aware of that if I am at a meeting. Alone, my sick mind can't fix my sick mind. I need all your sick minds to help.
We are enough, we have enough. That's what's good about today
Am so glad to be off work next week, I can't wait. I'm going to try not to be superwoman, just keep God close to me in my thoughts and be grateful that I can goof off. I am grateful for such nice co-workers who are good hearted and well intended. And I'm grateful when I remember to ignore my own thinking, yesterday with the help of another member we came up with the opposite of magic thinking. It is tragic thinking, that's what's good about today, awareness.
Or, more truthfully, a Discovering Person. I said good-bye to my CoDA group. I'll pop in at some time but I no longer expect regular attendance from myself and wanted to explain my absence. The meeting is an hour away on Saturday mornings and I find that I like that time better for attending to my life. At one time, it was better use of my time to go to this fabulous meeting. Now my life is more interesting to me and I want that time to be spent closer to home.
As in previous post, after 10 years in Alanon, I haven't been to a meeting in some time. I would like to visit my old home meeting and I know I will some day, it takes place early in the evening and I am usually eating or am in transit from work.
So, happily, I will continue to be at the am open AA meeting, a place of healing and reconciliation, meets every day but Sunday. Today I'm headed to church. Tomorrow I want to talk to a meditation leader, a follower of P. Yogananda. Years ago I had a Kriya experience which was quite beautiful . . .
What's good about today is my higher power, all knowing and abundant, to which I turn my face and thoughts.
Joe, in program, told this fable during a meeting the first time that I heard it. There was a young Indian boy listening to his grandfather tell a story about the two wolves that live in all of us. One is needlessly aggressive, prone to jealousy, rage and grandiosity. The other was strong in a peaceful way, looked out for other people, tending to his business in an orderly fashion. The boy asked which wolf rules a person and his grandfather replied that it is the one that is fed.
When I feed my ego by focusing on my attachments and achievements I not only lose sight of my higher power, I strengthen my ego, making it harder than ever to rein it in and attend to my spiritual life.
What's good about today is that I can hear things through the filter of the twelve steps and add the wisdom of other members to my understanding.
"Unease, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, dissatisfaction, are the result of unfulfilled wanting . . . intense wanting that has no specific object can often be found in the still-developing ego of teenagers, some of whom are in a permanent state of negativity and dissatisfaction."
He goes on to say, "No content will satisfy you, as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won't be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within."
I'm doomed. What's good about today is that I know I can't trust my thinking. Hah!
Is it the low pressure zone? The recent high school graduation of my son? I'm not sure that I've been to one since my own 35 years ago. The detachment I felt from the hoopla was the same.
I remembered the speeches about making your own indelible mark upon the world, words from the same voices that for 4 years had never said anything more significant than 'remember this for the test, you're only cheating yourself, everyone leave by single file'. I don't say this to be obnoxious, I was a good student, I just couldn't relate to school as anything more than a requirement met in a big old brick building as lonely as it was empty.
My son's outlook is a little milder, he is more social than I was, the only disciplinary issues that I've ever heard about him is that he had been a bit CHATTY with his friends. He's a strong silent male around me so I'm glad that he's social in some context of his life. But I doubt if even he that is chatty was struck by the chord of the graduation speakers as they spoke of the legacy that the class of 2010 leaves behind. It's freakin' high school, for God's sakes.
I feel displaced. That era ended and I'm making it all about me, was I a good enough mother? Yes, since he did actually graduate, has not been arrested or accused of murder--those are my standards for 'good mother'. If you comment to state that you are the mother of a murderer and also a good mother, I will grant that you probably were, I'm easy like that. It was just him and me in that crowded gymnasium, the only ones related to each other, his dad begged off a couple days ago. I think I'm feeling lonely. His father would not have sat with me but at least there would have been two of us in that crowd that know the baby pictures and the nicknames.
What's good about today is that I know that this too shall pass, I can continue to do the foot work to live a happy life and happiness will catch up with me.
It's been a rocky few days, lost my emotional sobriety over some stuff at work. I hadn't thought about blogging on it until I read Syd's post ( I'm Just F.I.N.E. ) today, scroll down to the bottom and read the poetry that gives the analogy of being a guest house. People, places, things, thoughts come into us, stay awhile and then move along. I've been visited by martyrdom this week.
Martyrdom doesn't visit me that often, I'm a youngest child--I evade responsibility when possible. Anyway, I know I can be a tad serious at work. Meaning that others have mentioned that to me. Through the decades. Okay, something to pray about.
As I said in a meeting, I am the star victim in my story. So, I've been a big poop at work, a joy to be around and I've not been able to shake it. The answer to me is that I need to take better care of myself. I put in for a week of vacation. And then I'll put in for another week in September. I've been amazingly miserly with myself, trying to fashion a long weekend here and there, going bullshit when it doesn't work out, accepting this bad behavior from myself that I would never accept from anyone else, all because I've not asked for help.
A gift was foisted on me yesterday. I now have to clock in like others, initially I took it as just one more _____ thing to remember. Today, I see it as a gift, I will have to clock in and out for lunch, one more reinforcement to take care of myself. I can work overtime if I need to and I will be paid for it. What a concept!!!!
So, let those guests come to my house, what's good about today is putting my agape to the test!
This is my 3rd start. Don't really recall what I want to say so **warning, warning** I will be random . . .
There but for the grace of God go I . . . I'm blessed not to have the disease of addiction, I was a dedicated amateur for ten years, from my late teens to my late twenties. By then my first marraige had ended, I was feeling glum enough not to want to add a hangover to it and so my drinking got less and less over each year. As the Big Book says, I was able to drink like a gentleman. Now I'm pretty random about it.
I have not attended an Alanon mtg in 4-5 months, maybe longer. It doesn't interest me except as my entry point into recovery. No one's drinking bothers me, if it comes up I know where I need to go. I invited active disease into my life for 28 months, its been gone for over five years, I've given back to the program with service etc for long enough, the meetings don't interest me. About a year ago, I was attending all three programs, Alanon, CoDA and a daily open AA mtg. Now it only the morning AA mtg that I attend. I find plenty to think about there, ego, isolation, depression, hope and discovery.
What's good about today is that I have a relationship with my higher power and it's manifestation through other people, I am at curious peace when I follow his (her, their) call.
I posted yesterday but a satellite burped at the wrong time and wouldn't let me publish it or save it, hasn't happened to me in awhile. I'm fortunate to not have that happen with the regularity that it seems to hit some others. It reminds me that like many an alcoholic I am not grateful for the simple ease of my life in many respects.
A few months ago I was pontificating that I should sell my house, get a nice easy apartment, yahda, yahda. A little part of me would tell myself, 'you're just fried because your mom is here, you're desperate, my son will be out of school, it's your nature to be easily unhinged, don't talk about it because you'll come back to Earth'. And I was right about that, now I consider myself lucky to be where I am.
And I'm chastened. The neighbors who lost their son put a for sale sign up on their house. They lament moving but feel that they will lose it soon and are feeling the pull to be closer to family. So, I'm brought up short. What for me are musings and daydreams that I mock-torture myself with are the solid realities that others come up against.
A message that I need reminding came up in today's meeting, Let Go & Let God. Don't worry about making plans and what I think I need to perfect my life. And just as quickly I forget it. Now, only 3 hours later, I am beating myself up over what I need to get done. Caught myself thinking that I can't be both a mellow person and a task master at the same time.
Which brings me closer to God? What's good about today is that I know the answer, I might not like it but I know that I need to be as kind to myself as I am to others and that I can remember that each moment is to be lived as a gift, not as a problem to be solved.
I think that the afflicted and the affected should have a special Memorial Day to honor the losses of those cut down before their prime. That is something so sad, similar to the deaths of children and those who serve their country, that people die before experiencing the gifts of life through it's cycles.
Once you can separate the person from the disease it is easier to love the person for who they were, their intrinsic self, as distinctive as a fingerprint. The neighbor put up a For Sale sign on their house today, they have lived there seven years plus one death. My bet is that they want to go back to PA to take care of their fatherless grandchildren and daughter-in-law.
I don't know, I never did understand them, I have to remember that I'm not qualified to judge, that's what's good about today.
Today's page in Courage to Change, an Alanon daily reader, talks about resentments. It defines an expectation as a pre-meditated resentment. I don't have many expectations right now. Some of the ones that I have are those that I have of myself such as expecting that I would have painted the upstairs by now (four months since I bought the paint). It doesn't matter that I have a good work ethic etc,etc, I get on my case about what I haven't done. Now, I think that it's quite possible that it's just not important to me.
Someone was asking me if I was worried about my son joining the army.I hadn't thought about it much lately and I said I had given it to God and knew that whatever decision made would be the right one. He's a long time AA-er, gave me a quizzical look because he drives himself crazy over his son out there using.
What's good about today is that we're all different and we're all the same. Or, we're all insane?!
Conversation today reminded me of someone who spoke up at a workshop at the International Alanon Convention two summers ago in Pittsburgh. He was a gentleman, sixty-ish, who had been in Alanon a couple years, sober through the help of AA for 10 or 15 years. He briefly outlined that he had drunk freely during his sons' teen years and well into their 2o's. Now he was sad to say that they had drunk together and that he had groomed them as his drinking buddies. One had made it into recovery or had just cut down (drinking like a gentleman?)and the other was very far out there, a real alcoholic.
His remorse was sincere and his grief was deep but there was no self pity. He was dignified and hopeful and his image stayed with me.
What's good about today is forgiveness, for ourselves and others.
That's a quote from Chuck Palahniuk's new book called Diary. I know I do, that is, seek my own coma, I don't live my own life so much as weather it. Chuck wrote Fight Club , another dark story about survival, made into a movie that some of my AA friends LOVE.
We all have our own favorite numbing, oops, relaxing habits. I can lose myself in a puzzle book, a piece of fiction or a series of naps. The ultimate numb out is suicide, the big sleep. That held my fascination for decades. We get numb with food, with TV and video games. It all gives me temporary shelter from the anxiety. If I was compulsive, I would definitely be an alcoholic.
Today was the memorial service for my neighbor's older son, he succumbed to his drug addiction last month. He sought relief for the last time, his days are done, his family knows where he is at. He will never grow older than thirty eight in this world. I did not know him, I was not crying or speaking his praises. Just the neighbor from across the street. A witness to the day.
What's good about today is that I am above ground, still breathing the prana breath.
Now and then in my morning meeting I am reminded that the mind of a chronic alcoholic is different from mine. Someone spoke about a co-worker who was asking some 'naive' questions about the compulsion to drink. He found the gulf between himself and the other gentleman was huge, difficult to explain it to someone so removed from alcoholic use. The recovering person felt affronted by such oblivion, feeling that everyone ought to know something about the disease.
My reaction, the polar opposite, was happiness that there are really people who have the pleasure of not knowing much about it. To live with active disease is to have it pushed in your face, a crash course in deception and consequences. When I took a self-admitted drug and alcohol addicted woman into my life I was optimistic that because we were both smart, loving and educated about the disease that we had an excellent chance at a good life together. I was sleeping with my purse under my pillow in a few short months. I learned that the disease is cunning, baffling and all powerful. It does not care about our lives, it will take and take until there is nothing left. It was the first time in my life that I could not get what I wanted.
There are people whose lives ARE unscathed by active disease. I say they are lucky for reasons known only by a power greater than ourselves. Had I not taken an alcoholic into my life, I would not have experienced the disease. As a teen, I had never seen anyone drunk until I went away to school and I quickly become one of them. By the grace of God, it was only a phase and I outgrew it.
So, we are who we are, living a segment of our lives for who knows what reason. What's good about today is compassion for others, let me not judge for I am just a child among others in a world of mystery.
When I leave my morning meeting and drive down the woodsy roads to work, I know exactly what I'm going to blog about that evening. There will be this perfect program related revelation, simple and elegant. So, simple that I'm sure that I will remember it later.
And I don't. There's a couple note takers in that meeting and I'm going to have to have some paper to jot down a few words that will cue my memory. I may have to pull off the road because it is in the car that something comes to me. This morning I SWORE that I would certainly remember. And at this moment, fourteen hours later, it's gone. Maybe it's short term memory problems
a casualty of staying in the moment!?
What's good about today is that in the morning, God willing, I get another chance.
Meaning that I have to be patient with myself and with recovery. Today I am caught in that lethargy of lots to do but not able to make myself get up and get into it. Fighting the 'you have better program than this' committee in my head, I can pick up any baseball bat and pound myself.
Actually fight is the wrong word. I'm trying to accept myself as I am and forget the expectations that I have that only make me miserable and make it easy to slide into self pity. The worse I badger myself the more stubbornly I dig in my heels and the deeper I plant myself into the couch cushions!
For whatever reason, in the big design, today is just the way it is supposed to be and I am right where I'm supposed to be and all is well in God's world. And that's what's good about today.
Someone mentioned un-merited gifts the other day, words from the Big Book. This is why I need this excellent meeting. It reminds me that I am blessed. And it reminds me of the Giver. If I am lucky, I will be reminded of it when I'm in church. But all things being equal, I'm more likely to hear it in my meeting.
Why is it that we do not want to do the things that will help us? Someone mentioned that to me a year ago, his name was Hugh and he came to the morning meeting for a couple weeks and I never saw him again. I remembered it because it was so simple and so true.
My norm has always been to get up eagerly to get into the day. For the last six months I've had trouble with that, don't want to get going, would rather stagnate in bed.
But this morning I woke up hearing my name called. I believe that someone in the meeting was thinking of me. Off I went.
Okay, some of you are saying 'It's Sunday', I know, I know, here goes and please forgive the grammar . . .
'I SHOULD . . . all over my self
One of my character defects that underpins my need to be in judgement mode, I practice on myself. Thinking about what I should be doing puts me right into analysis paralysis. It's also a way of practicing unacceptable behavior. I seldom suggest that someone else 'should' do something but I am constantly 'shoulding' on myself, as the founder of Gestalt School of Psychology, Fritz Perls observed.
What's good about today is that I can try to be a better friend to myself. Makes sense?
At the morning meeting today I was able to say that what's good about today is program, I gave them my neighbor's story of loss and said that with the help of program there is hope, without program-not so much.
It occurs to me that any when a minority does not receive equal opportunities we are cheated out of knowing them and civilization limps along with the benefit. When addiction takes someone out, it is the same. If the figures of 1 out of 10 are correct then we lose all the help of those parents, those good hearts, those people who could have helped build our future while instead they are sedated, jailed or dead.
I love the people at my meeting. They, like me, have been brought to their knees. We are kin of the same higher power. If I didn't know them, I would not know people in recovery, I would not believe in transformation.
My neighbor and her husband are a tad older than me, they moved in about 6 years ago. Her eldest had a heroin habit, he had been clean for a number of years and had relapsed big time a couple years ago. I invited her to an Alanon meeting and she and her husband went to another one later.
I'm not close with her and don't think that they ever made a 12 step program part of their life. She's pretty fearful and glued to her cell phone so we really don't talk much but she and her husband have always been good neighbors and helped me out with the house.
She came over to talk in the driveway to tell me that her son had passed away about a week ago. He was traveling by bus to try to make some things right with his wife and children. They had texted a couple times and then he was out of contact. He never got off the bus. They found his body in the bathroom when the bus returned to it's point of origin in New York.
Yes, addiction is a real disease. And it's everywhere.
My son is thinking, just thinking, he says, of going into the army. I feel privileged that he would share this with me. He hasn't spoken to anyone else. I understand that he wants to get away and to sign on to what sounds like a solution. I think he would not be considering this if he was employed and if he was not racking up consequences.
Even a year ago my peace-lovin self would have been offended at the thought of my only child giving his body and future to the military. But now I accept God's will over my own, I do not know the wisdom or the folly of anything, I was not appointed to judge. For some reason, through the ages, humans keep banding together and rationalize bearing arms. It's beyond me but I accept it.
(First, let me thank my commenter for his gracious words, I want to make my anti-depressant a moral issue and that is probably stupid, umm, unfair.)
Ten years ago when I came into Alanon it was because I needed to cope with an alcoholic girlfriend. Surprisingly, one of the gifts of 'the program' is that it made me a better parent. I've learned to pick my fights, saywhatyoumean/meanwhatyousaybut don'tsay it mean and reserve judgement. In all areas of my life it's good to remember to lighten up.
That said, I gotta tell you, my kid is driving me nuts. In the past year and a half he has slowly but surely amassed a total of at least 3 minor to moderate car accidents, one ticket, a GPA that continues to drift down, lost or quit 2-3 (does it count if you don't start?) jobs. On St Patty's Day he had an ETOH related ER visit (found out when Aetna sent me an EOB) and this past weekend his (my) car was impounded because when he was pulled over for his ticket, he happened to have an unopened beer with him.
He believes that, metaphorically (his word, not mine) he needs to slow down. I agree.
I believe that 'this' must stop. He agrees.
I say that if you don't speed, you don't get a ticket; if you stay away from other cars, most accidents don't happen; if you don't drink, you don't get drunk. I say it's the same reality for all of us. I believe he was silent.
I say if there are any more car or alcohol incidents I need to think about taking away the car because I don't want anyone hurt. More silence.
Here are the gifts of the program, I didn't say every threatening thing on my mind because I was annoyed and knew it. I can hope this is just dumb senioritis stuff and not indications of a a deeper problem. I can have confidence that as time goes on and there are more challenges, my higher power and I will figure it out. I know that if the time comes, I will detach with love because to deny the truth and enable addiction is to delay recovery.
And most importantly, I know that I can have a happy life whether my alcoholic is drinking or not. So, you see, I didn't lay him out with my black belt--just flexing it a little.
if I'm starting to calm down or just legally stoned. You will notice that I seldom blog anymore, it doesn't feel like anything is happening or that I have anything to report. I had a good idea for a blog entry driving to work from the morning meeting and knew there was a good chance that I'd forget it by evening.
I'm lost in the fiction of Charlaine Harris, have read the first 5 Sookie books. It's damsel in distress stuff, rescued by handsome vampires or shape-shifters. Fun to think about parallel universes, I love that stuff. Sookie always gets smashed up at least twice in each book & then healed by the supernatural, I doubt that I could take the HBO version of the books (True Blood) as I don't watch women (or men) getting broken as entertainment but imagining it in my head is different. Kind of fuzzy around the edges.
Which brings me back to my first sentence. The anti-depressant is helping me sleep and I don't cry anymore. My brain is quieter, not always finding me things that I should do. Fewer shoulds is good. But I also lay around a lot. If my son was laying around, smoking pot, I would not approve. I can be legally lethargic and wander through my day unmotivated to do anything beyond sitting in the moment. Hey, that's not so bad.
My comfort is that whether on drugs or not, all is as it should be in God's world. My preference is to be less controlling and continue the drug experience, enjoy my ability to meditate and be satisfied with what each moment shows me, there is more to be revealed if I can be patient. I guess it's not for me to decide what's good or bad, when it's time for something to change, it will unfold.
I had to use my Alanon black belt today but that is a story for another day.
One of the themes in the am meeting today was the feeling of family in 12 step programs. Ten years ago I found the friendship of 'aunts and uncles' in meetings that I had never had in biological family. They are now brothers and sisters and if I last another 10 years, I suppose I will have some program 'children'.
As I drove away, it struck me that a good meeting has a strong deep in the gut level of truth and, also, a reverence for higher power. I have been to many Alanon or CoDA meetings that degenerate into 'he said, she said and then I said' renditions, short on Experience, Strength and Hope.
What's good about today is that the morning meeting seldom disappoints and that I got a chance to speak my truth today.
So, I was at the open AA meeting the other day and the discussion gravitated toward the unfamiliar habit of following instructions. It is a human trait to resist instructions whether they are in the Big Book or included with a toy you want to put together. It comes down to ego and it's relentless need to be 'right' even within the landscape of surrender.
The phrase 'my best thinking got me here' described me when I came into Alanon (and is why I cannot stray too far away). I was out of good ideas, in over my head and knew that the answers were beyond my experience. I was never a member who thought she had the right instructions, you know, I wasn't like the ones who want to tell their alcoholic exactly what they need to do.
What's good about today is that I've learned not to follow my busy brain into battle. Better that I hang back and use the rest of my senses to inform me. Even better is that I know that my higher power wants only the best for me and that each moment and action hold the opportunity for grace.
Mom went back to Ohio this past weekend. I am immensely relieved but still feel like she's going to come round the corner, I caught myself feeling down about going home from work and then remembered that she is gone. It is all right now. Me, the man-boy, the fuzzy dog.
I'll go to the mtg tomorrow, I'll do whatever I want. I know she's just a fragile human. We all are.
I worry all the time. Needlessly, of course. It is an old habit. If I am to shake it, I really need to go to a higher powered place every day. I just erased a long post illustrating the issue of 'safety' for me. My next piece of art will be about being enveloped in the arms of abundance. I can't wait to feel better. That's what's good about today, hope.
When my higher power feeds me, he feeds all of me--the sinner and the saint alike. He loves the parts of me I hide from the world and deny.
I paraphrased the above from a religious daily reader dated March 31st that states how feeding others is an intimate act and remarks how Jesus fed the one who would betray him. And goes further to say that it is important to recognize the Judas in myself, as I too turn against those who love me and hurt them . . . and often my betrayal is disguised as an act of affection.
Ahh the implications for alcoholics, alanoners and co-dependents. The honesty in 12 step meetings of sharing our broken parts is powerful. Where else in life am I given a platform to talk about my struggles, where I have missed the mark, where I owe amends? It is a relief to put my burden down and not have to pretend to be 'great'. We join hands at the end of our meetings, join voices and encourage each other to have a great week until we meet again.
What's good about today is that every part of me is loved, the sinner and the saint alike. My biggest task is to accept myself as easily as my higher power does.
1) Check out the pillars of creation, today's astronomy picture. Maybe it's the name that turns me on. Does anyone besides me use the term 'turns me on', takes me back to the TV show Laugh In and Goldie Hawn dancing in body paint.
2) I'm sad about bloggers thinking about quitting but so haven't I been a slacker lately. All things run their course in their mysterious, mostly unpredictable way. I can't even guess why I've slowed down.
3) My mom will be going back to Ohio in a couple weeks, I feel differently about that each day, sometimes regretful, sometimes not, sometimes twisted up in between. I found a stove burner on low the other day for no particular reason, yikes!
4) I'm experiencing my first holy week and an inner part of me is very still and listening intently.
5) As always, I have to love the moment, one by one they are terrific. And that is what is good about today.
Just letting you know that I'm lurking around. Plans are in the works for Mom to go back to her stomping grounds close to my sister next month. The work situation is easing up into a level that is simply busy instead of being hideously busy.
The sleep deprivation has let up after 2 awful months. The down side is that I feel lethargic OR calm, what do I label it? I wanted change and now I have it.
What's good about today is that my higher power is always on duty, I can let go of the steering wheel. It make me think of the ride at Cedar Point where it seems like you're steering but you really can't go off the track that only heads in one direction . . . forward.
cranky but I'd rather be thankful that my cold is not too bad that I had a lot to do today at work but accomplished what needed to be done that my plumber came within a couple hours instead of a couple days that the sparks my old sump pump threw were right into the lake called my basement that the furnace sounds a little odd since it was submerged but it is working that even though I have a lot to do tomorrow, it is called HAVING A JOB that in the midst of a tiring, confusing day I managed without losing my emotional sobriety and that program gave me the instruction to continue forward in a Good Orderly Direction
I'm with y'all in spirit! Too tired/busy/fried to post.
My sister was here for 5 days, announced that she could see that 'it wasn't working at all' to have my mom here. I didn't delve into that one as I have a great vulnerability to having my feelings hurt. So, she and brother in law are looking for some place suitable out by them.
I'm celebrating a weekend off of work with a cold.
Got myself worked up thinking that I possibly had shingles (one sided thoracic level back pain with the pricklies) but was cleared by my doc. Who made a pitch to me about going back on anti-depressants. Which I accepted. Tearfully. I can't sleep, even with Ambien. I'm like a Toyota with a stuck accelerator.
What's good about today is letting go, letting God.
I feel a little better. Although I don't have a chemical compulsion, in the past I have gotten the most relief from a year and a half of attending the daily am open AA mtg. Coffee, hugs, people who know you, a nice steadiness to that meeting despite all that transpires under that roof. I've attended twice this week and I'm going to keep it up. I'm still on the phone list with the word Alanon in the space for sobriety date.
So, what's good about today is that I'm more comfortable than I was yesterday and I get to get up tomorrow and do it again, as the higher power allows.
Just claiming my seat. Feeling a little calmer, able to meditate about 3 respirations at a time, respecting & surrendering expectations that are products of a busy, tired mind. Staying in the moment 'uz the rest is too overwhelming. A change is a change is a change.
My friend, Denise grabbed me a daily reader at the Episcopalian Church and I have thought to read it every couple days. Last night I read the entry for 2/19 and a feeling of well being and relief poured over me. Yesterday was the kind of day where my boss asked how it was going and I burst into tears, the kind of day where we strategized how I can NOT have to work every Saturday including the five days ahead of it.
Here's what I read . . . Philippians 4:1-9. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing . . . if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Anxiety (the reader goes on, written 1946) is a kind of fear--not of God, but of the unknown future. It is unreality. We draw the unreal future into the present and proceed to stab ourselves with it.
Keep it in the moment and focus on gratitude, where have I heard that before?? Labeling my problem as anxiety makes all the sense in the world to me, a sick mind cannot heal a sick mind and I cannot come up with solutions myself, I need the wisdom of others, always. And that's what's good about today.
Was supposed to lead tonight an hour away, would have left me a whole 10" after work to have supper with my mom and relax after another overfilled day at work. Called the other members to apologize but only reached voicemails. Maybe I'll leave home early enough tomorrow to drop in on the open AA morning meeting.
I need to play but I'm tired, I've settled into a plod, all things happen for a reason and there is no sense in beating myself up about it as in 'I should be doing better'. My problems are 'champagne problems', the imaginings of a tired brain. The lips are saying the words but the heart beats slow and heavy.
What's good about today is that I held my temper and my tongue.
I am still influx . . . in a hurry . . .overscheduled . . . calm at times . . . 3 wks of birthdays=self, son, mother . . . loving often . . . failing more often . . . communion . . . meditation . . . and sometimes sleep . . . reading often . . . writing seldom . . . winter masquerading as spring.
Episcopalian? Friends met me at the church and I am grateful for that support. For the first time in my life I accepted communion. Like most things that I enjoy, I want it to happen again and again, next Sunday is too far away.
I am straddling two lives, a growing awareness that I am moving away from what I have established. A good but disturbing feeling, I do not want to draw back into familiarity and stand on the dock anymore. My writing is barely coherent, my work life incrasingly difficult and so I can only hope to stay in the moment, which is not so bad and always the gift that I'm given. Free, no strings.
The tough parts about change are that first it feels painful and then it feels strange. I feel a little floaty today. I am not (gasp) following through on 30 in 30. I am doing what I need in a moment, hour to hour kind of manner. Tomorrow I will probably go to a church that I've never been to before. I am keeping my thoughts directed to God and that is enough to keep me entered. Spirit is with every respiration.
I went to my meeting this am and heard people complaining about people. I returned a call to my morning phone person and heard that she felt snubbed and then heard her apologizing for 'offending' me and I could not say much except that I respected her decisions and then heard her say that I was condescending and then I excused myself from the conversation. Wow.
Breathe in, breathe out. As simple and as satisfying as it gets.
Last night I put 'shame' away in the box and asked for that defect to be removed from me. So, I will do my part and not expound on THAT anymore. Re-reading some Kate Braestrup, a Maine author who wrote Here If You Need Me, a book about her work as a chaplain for the forestry service.
What's good about today is taking a day at a time.
Well Day 2 and I've flubbed up, started stew for supper, helped my mother with something, answered friend's phone call and then caught my sister's call asking for update-missed mtg that started at 6pm, sigh . . . thought I would catch some of the 7pm meeting, sigh . . .
It's fitting that it's the Sabbath and a time for me to surrender my best thinking and ask my God for help. My posts have been lagging in spirit and I have not felt like my best self for awhile. I feel preachy and shrill with an undercurrent of anger. Yesterday, my morning phone program buddy asked to be left off the hook. I've felt it coming, she says she wants to be alone with her turmoil, I just let her talk, she has a circular route she takes. I will miss this meeting of the minds in the morning. It has been important to me, a substitute sometimes for attending meetings.
My busy ego mind pressures to lead me down a dozen paths to peace but in this moment, I will agree to only one plan. Sticking to what has worked for me in the past I will plan for 30 meetings in 30 days. It's my best shot to start enjoying my life again.
Just a note to say hello. I realize how sleep deprived I am this week (covers on, covers off) and am going to take myself off the hook. Fueled by Doris Lessing and caffeine I am determined to type my manuscript until my fingers fall off.
A really big thanks to all of you who posted support. Your hugs and compassion are a reminder to be patient with myself. A hopeful program note is that my CoDa mtg has sprouted an offshoot on Wednesday nights in addition to Saturday morning, I'm really looking forward to that.
And a very big thank you to Ed (A Principled Life) for reminding me about self will run riot. I'm not an alcoholic but I'm full of self will and it is a reminder that I need to accept reality on reality's terms. When I run faster to feel better I am like that hamster on the wheel, getting tired but easier to keep running than to stop the wheel and risk doing things differently.
Even having just written the above sentiments, my sick mind wants to call the shots and bargain. It says, just let me finish painting my room, okay let me finish painting the 4 rooms that I have planned, just let me keep slamming thru February until my sister comes, and then I'll do this and then I'll do that, let me work really long tomorrow so that next week will be better. Always short changing the present to 'take care' of the future.
What's good about today is that we're not all crazy at the same time.
Just a very fatigued, almost crying in front of people kind of day. Didn't think of the Serenity Prayer but also didn't get into a car accident either. Got up at 5am after being awake for an hour, typed up some pages, talked to my program friend. Talked about how even we get sick of program, want life to be easy and quiet, I shared that I wondered if I am even tougher on myself because I have program affiliation, I have a larger sense of expectations. I honestly thought about throwing myself out today, just dissolving into my bad self. But I also could get outside of myself and remind me that it is fatigue and that's a killer for me.
Awareness is what's good about today, acceptance may be what's good about tomorrow.
I'm up early today. My priority is writing everyday. This month I am typing my handwritten Nano novel. The joke is that it is taking me longer to do the typing than to write the original work. Little by slowly it comes but only if I sit down and do it. Agghh.
22 followers, thank you very much for that vote of confidence.
This woman has not been to a meeting for about 10 days. And has not spoken with her program phone friend for the same secondary to, ahem, phone problems. Thus it came to me this morning that the serenity prayer would be good to remember in anxious moments. It's funny how the habit of using it left me. Just the first couple of words do it for me, bring me into my right space and size.
Today it feels good not to be angry. What's good about today is that I'm not in pain and I can celebrate it with others.
Thought I better post at this point of optimism. The temp is rising from the 8 degrees of the morning. It's a home improvement weekend. We're hoping to get to 40 degrees and my neighborly carpenter will be installing the new side doors. It's the entry that we use all the time and they have never been a thing of beauty or efficiency. After 7 years I'm ready to upgrade!
Also, prepping my bedroom for painting tomorrow, ya hoo. Next weekend will be painting the computer room and possibly the family room downstairs including the red brick fireplace. Anyone painted a fireplace out there? Ultimately it might need more than that to raise the bar but a couple coats of paint is the first low tech treatment of choice.
My morning pages are mundane these days, having to do with color choices, finessing my mother's details, getting phone service restored. It is my inclination to pick up that baseball bat and use it upon myself, just name the reason, any reason will do. I am happy to report that I am aware of that tendency, accept my humanity and am much more successful in keeping my serenity. And sharing it.
My self care has included taking the afternoon off work due me, moving ever slowly forward on the mother/house tasks, not taking more on in an hour or a day than what I can tolerate. This week I stocked the frig with fruits & juices, the cupboard with nuts and dried berries and have prepared healthy comfort food all week. That alone has helped immeasurably.
It is not acceptable behavior to myself to re-tell mother tales, to perseverate on the dark side; I frankly don't have the emotional stability to risk riding that see-saw. My boundaries need patrolling, I re-directed a neighbor who wanted to give me 'poor you' stuff over my mother's needs. The Iyor (spelling?) approach of victim-hood wears out with me
And that's what's good about today. If you live in a warm climate, go skinny dipping for me, okay?
One thing that I've been learning these last 10 days or so is to notice when I'm getting stressed. This is very helpful because the next thing that I have to learn is to STOP what I'm doing, saying, thinking. I guess it was last night that I noticed that I have been going up and down like a roller coaster. That is not good for one's health and I will not participate in that way again.
What's good about today is learning to protect myself from unnecessary stress and anxiety.
The winter scenery has been great the last couple days. There is a couple inches of snow on the tree limbs and at night it looks like a fairyland with only a couple streetlights to illuminate them, there is so much light reflected 30 feet up in the air that I thought someone had a spotlight turned on. This morning the skies were dramatic, a stand of snowy pines facing East, their faces kissed with pink.
You know I've been feeling quiet and haven't been posting with regularity. I have nothing much to say, my morning pages are similarly thin. My energy is still taken up with tasks to settle mother in to my home.
I found some of the Lifeline and the pendant on the garage floor. Maybe it is the whole idea of sustaining life that is repellent to her. No, that's not fair. It has been a task to see how sour I've become over this experiment in living. Yesterday, I was too dirt tired to look anyone in the eye when I got home.
Part of my disappointment is that though we are both well intended, we have great difficulty discussing the simplest things. I don't remember ever having a significant talk with her about anything, ever. That's at least partly what drove me to leave home at seventeen, not being able to meet on any plane except the 'what's for dinner' one. Emotional poverty. Such pain she must have had in her life, she overdosed when I was 4 or 5 and my sisters were in their late teens. She left home when I was 12 or 14. Just left a note for my dad, then came back in a couple weeks. My gut feeling is still that she is vacant and sneaky.
My work partner and I are quite separated right now, she will be leaving soon and we are spared the continued effort of pretending to be a couple in our two person department. We have a mutual friend who feels saddened to see us distanced from each other. I was relating how I felt affronted by a comment my co-worker had made and my friend observed that we were like oil and water. Of course, I'd rather that we be viewed as GOOD and EVIL but the longer I thought about the analogy the more I liked it.
And today I can apply the same analogy to my mother and me. Not good and bad, just two different substances, both liquid but distinctly separate, sharing only the margin that outlines us.
What's good about today is that there are others in my life with whom I connect. I have relationships inside and outside of program that matter a great deal to me.
My life is good. I pray for myself and others that we might have hope in our hearts, faith in the God of our understanding and the ability to give and receive from others. Blessed be, all we have is this moment.
Thank you for your supportive comments on the last post. As a recovering co-dependent I felt very guilty about voicing negative views in the course of giving my opinion. My internal critic works overtime to beat every would-be critic to the punch. I have a background, and I have heard that you do too, that does not expect a loving response when I voice my opinion. Thank you for being part of my healing process, the universe provides what we need when we need it.
The lacking a loving response when I am brave enough to be me is now personified with my mother being with me (I have been writing a lot of lousy sentences like that since Nano, I choose to believe that it part of my growth process, I am writing like a caterpillar at the moment, gotta wait for the butterfly part). She has been acting out this past week, starting with last weekend blasting me for doing other work on the house instead of 'finishing' her room first, cresting with the tantrum a couple days ago about installing the life line alert system and culminating last night with admitting to taking 'an axe' to said system and cutting her telephone cord.
The lapse in social inhibition is partially explained by dementia but there is her true self there as well. The worse she is, the more validated I feel that this is someone that I left at age 17 and have felt no real affection for since. I slept with a chair against my door last night, I trust nothing when people start throwing words around like axe.
What's good about today is that I can take care of myself, talk to others and feel my higher power's love.