Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Wheel off My Wagon

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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good Morning

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.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thanks, I Needed That!

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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


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.

A Pat on the Back

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.

Have a good Tuesday everyone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Woo Hoo

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.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Good Morning

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?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Retreat, Revamp and Re-Enter

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Better Things

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.

Beauty is what's good about today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oil and Water

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.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

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.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Suddenly Saturday

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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Well . . . It Got Me Out of the House

The Alanon meeting that I attended tonight focused on Step 9 questions in one of the step books. The nature of the questions and the nature of the shares highlighted belly button gazing and mental masturbation. Most of these folks have been in 5+ years and a few 15+ years in the program and for God's sakes if you haven't gotten your amends straightened out by now, I support them putting it on the back burner. Speaking for myself, I start to smell the odor of narcissism. Did I hurt myself, did I hurt others. Who knows, there are no mistakes in God's world, what happened happened, including the amends that did or did not happen. I'm wise not to exaggerate my importance in other people's lives.

Keep a strong Step 10 in action and look back but don't stare.

My primary relationship is with my higher power, the rest of my life pales in comparison.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shhh, Quietly Now . . .

Sometimes it's just a good day when you don't lose your temper, not even once. It was peaceful and quiet in a productive way and that's what's good about today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Growing Pains?

I ran away from home to see Where the Wild Things Are. Cried all the way through it. Too much for this child, I was always afraid he was getting hurt, I was afraid because his heart was so hurt, I saw myself, my son, my mother, my friends. I thought the descriptor of visually arresting meant that it would be beautiful. It was quite brown and sad.

I ran away to cheer up. I am so unsettled. That's not saying much, if I have an overdue library card I am unsettled. Can you tell I am not from the alcoholic sector of this blogger world? Interesting that some are talking about honestly. My blogging is honest. I have no interest in making anything up.

It's just another day in the final analysis. Some oldie like Krishnamurti was asked how he kept his equanimity, he replied that he guessed that he wasn't bothered too much how things worked out. Sounds good.

He would have made it through that movie just fine.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What's Good About Today?

Pandora Radio surprising me with old favorites, time for re-writes, Steve's remember when story, a fire in the wood stove, a plan for supper, some retail therapy and a good morning meeting. For all these earthly pleasures, I am grateful.

Saturday, the joy of being home during daylight hours, my cocker spaniel buddy, my mother and son who overlook my crankiness, my lovely slim tower Dell that brings me all of you. For this, I am thankful.

Chores yet to do, a job that challenges and rewards me, my beloved friends in all their disguises, Mother Nature in all her glory, bright and dark sides. For this I give thanks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This and That

Book Recommendation, just finished The Spiral Staircase, My Climb out of Darkness by Karen Armstrong. It's her story of her spiritual journey, beginning of her departure in 1969 from a Catholic convent when she was in her mid 20's and evolving into a writing and television career, she has written on Islam and Buddha, her work has translated into 40 different languages.

I need to really hit my transcription process this weekend. My plate has been full. Last night took Mom shopping for mattress. Tonight worked with son putting together TV stand but did get on treadmill for 20minutes and out to store to run yet more errands. Got home and noticed empty beer bottle by sink. Was it the 17 year old or the 88 year old?

I find it hard to be 'nice' to my mom because I haven't had much practice. It's time to practice.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Evening Out, Coming Back to Center

Just a note to say that I am busy, busy but not crazy today. Took Mom out to look for a new mattress. She's SO funny around people that she doesn't know. Her social skills aren't that hot and sometimes she comes off like Maude, that character in a line of greeting cards.

We were talking in the car about something and she said, "You make the decision, I will support you. I'm not saying wholeheartedly, but I support you." That's about as good as it gets. Can't argue with a grandma who takes her pills and still washes! My dog loves her, his Cocker Spaniel stub of a tail vibrates and his whole butt shakes when she gets up in the morning, 'that's my new girl, he says, we hang out all day together!'

I can hardly believe how angry I was just a couple days ago. It's humbling and that's what's good about today.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday, Tuesday

Well, I'm a bit better today, even though many things did not please the big imperial me. It's back to practicing non-resistance, back to acceptance. I invited brain disease into my life and look what it's acting like . . . brain disease. What a surprise for the big 'I am' who thinks that she can absorb any troubles without effect.

It's that I can think so much of myself and so little of myself at the same time that amazes me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm Pretty Ticked

I said what I meant and I meant what I said and I tried not to say it mean but I said it damned firmly.

And I feel guilty because she's sick and I have this totally unrealistic expectation of MYSELF that I should just gently point out her errors and move along.

I came home to find that she took down the xmas tree after I said that it would stay up until I wanted it down. Later, while my son and I were on an errand, she made a fire (in the wood stove), we never discussed starting fires. I was upset. Furious. Boundaries have been violated, echoes of previous violations that I feel but don't remember. My rights are valid.

I am upset. I'm particularly annoyed because she plays the trump card 'I forgot'. Interesting what gets remembered, what gets forgotten.

The good thing about today is that it is over.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

200 Posts

Whoopee, a birthday of sorts! Got on my computer early thinking that I would resume re-writes on my novel. I resist putting novel in quotes because of my coda-ish need to denigrate things that I do that makes me want to not give it true validity. I need to keep up self talk, I am a writer, I write a blog, I wrote a Nano novel, I am now in re-writes.

Can I tell you this and then I will move on to another subject, as you know my re-writes are beginning by simply getting them out of two handwritten notebooks onto computer. The joy of seeing my words in black and white is fantastic. My first goal is to simply, hah!, get it transcribed so that I can print it out and truly look at what is, what stays, what goes. Truly good stuff, but look at me blogging and reading other's stuff.

Example of my mother's co-da stuff, she walks through two rooms to find me to ask if the TV volume is bothering me. I say no, think about it, walk to her room and ask if she wants me to turn it down for her. With relief she says, YES, thank you. Now, I know that it is partly the disease of dementia but I recognize the Eileen in it.

So, as lovely as it is to chat with you (Sherlock Holmes is a great movie for chicks, guys, teens--is Guy Ritchie ready to remarry?) I have to leave and do my heart's work. What's good about today is getting down to business, my business.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Another Sexy Post!

Diane Eck, Rosemary Mahoney and Emmett Fox all followed me home today. I ventured into an off price book store and brought them home. Rosemary, I've met before. She wrote an awesome book about religious pilgrimages that she took in a year to reconnect with her Catholicism.

Mr Fox has been a heavy hitter in Kathy Lynn's life (Kathy, schnook'ms, we miss you) and that's recommendation enough for me, I believe he is in Prayer Girl's library as well.

I think I've heard of Ms Eck. Mostly she was right THERE where Meister Eckhart should have been. I took it as a sign. And so for under $6 I have all the wisdom in the universe that I will ever need. It will see me through this snowstorm anyway.

Part of the blessing of my Sat am meeting is that I have an hour ride to get to it and listen to NPR on the way. A writer of a book about the importance of conversation was talking and saying that a good conversation feels good in that it releases the hormone oxytocin which is released during other, ahem, pleasurable experiences. He defines a good conversation as one in which there is mutual appreciation of uncertainty. It brings up so much of what meetings and the fellowship has meant to me. Thank you, praise to my higher power for bringing me this far.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What's Good About Today?

Well, in a perfect world I could have blogged yesterday, the last day of the year, to give it a proper send off. Instead, I was immersed in that last day and wrang it dry. My work day was full and by the time I touched base with family and friends I hit the wall at about 8:30. Topped it off with a perfect caffeine free Diet Pepsi, looked over at the computer and said, "Even for you, I am too tired".

Sounds like I have a lover, doncha' think?

And, do you know, I woke up this am not feeling rested or spiffy. Looking at how I spent yesterday is where I will take my lesson. I spent it diving head-long in different directions at work. I spent my other options eating rich food from the last bit of fruitcake for breakfast (homemade w/pecans, apricots, dates marinating in port for last month) to the dinner out in the evening. It crossed my mind that I could stop at the gym or walk around the block and it crossed right out of my mind.

Putting self care first is hard. For me, it means making wholesome choices and turning down old habits. If I can remember that with that little bit of effort I feel refreshed and in step with the Carol-ness that my creator gave me, I can truly enjoy my life. I can truly live each moment that I'm given. Sounds like a New Years Resolution.