Monday, May 16, 2016

Peace - Better than I am today

I have written a couple of post that I lost interest in before I posted them.  I wonder sometimes whether writing here is really what I should be doing anymore.  Whether my words are of any interest to anyone since sometimes they don't even interest me.

I began writing here at a time in my life that was so low that I could barely function.  I had lost everything that I thought was important to me.  I had lost even my core self or so I thought.  It was a time when there was no one to lean on and all the fixes of the past didn't work.

There were times when I didn't think I could go on even one more day.  My mind and body were working against me and I was convinced that I would feel like I did forever. Eight years does seem like forever when you believe you will never feel happy again.

I believe now that the stress of being left again together with the recession and some symptoms of menopause over taxed my body and produced the perfect storm in my brain.  My judgment wasn't good and I faced the situation alone and didn't seek medical advice. I didn't know that the prolong state of crisis that I was in along with the lack of care for myself  was affecting my thinking.

I have spent my whole life thinking I was in control and that I could manage whatever came my way. I had to believe this to survive I learned early that you just have to push on no matter what. My first experience with this was the death of my mother. I taught myself how to deal with the unknown by staying busy doing something every minute to avoid the feelings.

This was my method and it worked pretty well until my husband left.  He was really the only person I let in my world even to this day. We had the same brokenness his mother had also died at eleven too and his father drank to avoid the pain. He had been alone too and we connected in a way that was not healthy but felt safe. When he moved on I withdrew back into my task mode and kept going.

I found Al-Anon and it changed my life.  It helped me first to simplify my thoughts and to focus on the moment.  The slogans "first things first" - "keep it simple" and 'one day at a time" kept me going. I went to meetings everyday and I found people like me.  People who thought too much and felt responsible for everything.

Until then it never occurred to me that my thoughts were hurting me or that my thinking was developed by my own child's mind. Every solution I found including the program was just and extension of my need to control what was happening to me.  It was more of the same feeling I was responsible for every right and wrong thing that happened to me.

Where this long emotional road has brought me is to a final resting place. A place of peace only after realizing their is no solution.  Once I was able to remove all the layers of thoughts the child in me had created to survive I was free. At first I was terrified because I felt so empty without the constant dreaming and scheming going on in my head.

I realized I had to stop searching for the secret to life and happiness.  The warm fussy blanket of protection that would keep bad things from happening to me.  The energy that I spent doing this wasting the actual time I had to be happy.  Nothing bad is happening in this moment and so I can just be happy.  My mind is totally bored with this idea because there is nothing for it to do.

The way I thought was a habit and a way to entertain myself when life was out of control. I had to let it all go to find what I really wanted which was peace. Peace that is available every moment if I choose to acknowledge it.

It has been a long journey to find myself and forgive myself.  I learned a lot and had to un-learn a lot too.  I feel gratefull today not to be trapped by the constant need to be better than I am today.










Friday, May 6, 2016

Triggers - Cunning baffling and powerful

I have let something at work get under my skin. It a circumstance that triggers my past of dealing with the addicted. My perception that those that have addictive personalities use their charm to break on the rules and do what ever they want even if it has a negative affect on other people.

It takes me back to my husband and how everyone thought he was the greatest man on earth.  People would tell me, especially women, how lucky I was that he married me.  He was charming and would say everything that everyone wanted to hear.  In public and in front of friends he was smooth and everyone loved him including me.

I accepted the task of taking care of our lives.  In our private life nothing ever got done unless I did it. He made big promises and little promises and it didn't matter how important they were they were never kept.  He meant it with all his heart when he made them but mostly I think this was instinct a way to smooth things over temporarily and I so wanted to believe him.  A skill I think he developed at a young age living in a house with active alcoholism.

My own sickness was my eagerness to take care of everyone and make things run smoothly.  I did feel lucky that a guy so popular and that everyone loved would be interested in me. The truth was our life together was one crisis after another.  We didn't have the skills to deal with adult problems and he turned to alcohol when he couldn't deal with life.  I turned to managing crisis he created it was full time job.

I spent all my time trying to get him to do what he said he would do.  To shape him into the person I knew he wanted to be. Really he told me that he wanted to do better and provide for me.  When he turned thirty he told me how he was disappointed that he was not further along and couldn't give me the things I deserved.  How could you not love a person like this.  Of course by then he was on his second affair also a part of alcoholism progression.

This relationship made me complete nuts mostly because I thought I could make a difference.  It was obvious that he needed to just do what he promised.  It also made nuts that no one could see how what he was doing was ruining our lives.  He always said and did the right thing in public and his drinking friends thought I was a controlling bitch.  One to me that we didn't belong together.

What does this have to do with work. My co-worker was put in charge or qualifying customers and then passing them on to us. This was a great help at first but over time they have stopped being that interested. They also promised the customer anything and then handed them over to one of us to deliver the reality of our world.  Then the past few months I stopped really getting very many leads. They went on vacation and that week I got so many new customers I couldn't keep up.

What really got me going was they started taking on new customers for themselves.  In my mind a conflict of interest when they are speaking to everyone that comes in the store. No one has a problem with this except me because they have enough referrals and I am still establishing myself.  Also this person comes and goes as they please leaving early, calling regularly and saying their car has broken down and calling in sick.  I think they are working on these other jobs.

I thought to myself "why is this making you so crazy?"  my answer is that someone is coming between me and my ability to take care of myself. I have turned my happiness over to someone else. The part about them getting away with all the other stuff is related to my past. Everyone loves this person and no matter what they do they can do no wrong.  This makes me crazy.

I finally decided to remove the real problem for me.   I told them for my shifts I would take the calls and meet the customers and so far business is booming. Only two shifts. What they are doing outside what affects me is none of my business.  I don't want to spend anymore time thinking about them or what they are getting away with.  This is my past feeling from living with an alcoholic an thinking it was my responsibility to make them do right that takes me straight to crazy.

They are mad at me and as expected turned this around this around to be my problem. They are right is is my problem and I have solved it for myself. When you have lived with a cunning, baffling and powerful disease and recovered you can see things that others can't see.  You also have to ability to step back and see where those feelings are coming from. You can't avoid triggers but you can see them for what they are just ghost from the past. I don't have to give into to crazy.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Resistance - Letting go

I haven't felt I anything much to write about these days.  I have been plugged back into the matrix and just enjoying the normal things life has to offer.  Work has been exceptionally busy but it doesn't seem like a burden to me like it has in the past.

I am happy that I have found my center once again.  It is true that it has taken me a long time to stop resisting this new life that I have been given.  The world seems to offer us two choices either to sit back and relax and let life just flow or to decide what you want and set out to make those dreams come true. The second seems like a lot of work to me.

If you believe in a power greater than yourself then there is nothing to do but enjoy what is right in front of you.  If you feel this life is it you better get busy.

I have come to the conclusion that life is about finding something to do each day that brings you joy or at least entertains you. I have found that thinking that a particular destination will bring you happiness never really works out.  You might have a short time of satisfaction until the mind gets restless again it is never going to be satisfied for very long.

I  have to decide how I want to feel today and what I need to do to make that happen. I am at my best when I stop resisting what I perceive to be unpleasant and just go with the flow.  In the end how much will any of this really matter.

Just for today I will do my best to let go and focus on what is right about my life and not get distracted by what I think isn't working.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Growing - A Flower Bed

I am not sure what I will write about tonight I am spent for the week with one day left to go.  I guess I can tell you that I have found a little project to get excited about I am planting a big flower bed in my front yard.  The grass is half dead and the price was too steep for me to plant new grass.  For a third of the cost I am going to have a spectacular show of something.

I am waking up just like mother nature I can feel it.   I am starting to live life not just tolerate it.  It feels really weird to just do normal things like work and complain about my co-workers just like everyone else does.  I can then come home at the end of the day and put my feet up.  I can even plant a flower bed in my front yard.

Your not really sure just how crazy you are until your not anymore.  That is how it has worked for me. I wasn't making it at all and then barely getting through and then a leveling off occurred that turned into tolerance.  I was tolerating life and feeling guilty the whole time.  I felt like life was wasted on me but I just kept going. Who feels like that? Your suppose to have a zest for life.

I haven't quite made it to zest yet and I hope that who ever is in charge isn't planning to take me out soon because of my lack of enthusiasm for this world I guess I will have to wait and see.

I am just happy to get further and further away from where I was and if it takes a flower bed to inspire me then I am happy to do some digging for real instead of emotionally or spiritually.

I am waking up and missing my old life when I had someone to come home to and a family even if it wasn't really mine. I was good a loving and nurturing and making the world run smoothly for other people but without an audience my talents seem to have faded away. Can I do this for just me?

Maybe.

I feel well today and ready to begin again.  Today it doesn't matter that I am alone I feel good and ready to start planting something new.  Maybe I can make my life into some kind of flower bed.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dreams - The body - Peace

I slept too long this morning.  I was lost in the dream world and it seemed so interesting I wanted to stay so I did.  The dream had to do with renovating a very old house for some customers the house definitely had some potential but what we were doing felt like a band aid. I decided to exit the dream because I looked down at my bare feet and there was a spider biting my toe.

I wonder about dreams are they some other world that maybe after we die we return there permanently. Maybe they are just clusters of a the parts of our mind that aren't very neat and organized. All our interest and worries jumbled together and we have to be there in person to deal with them.

I have been a little annoyed since I came back to work after taking a week off. I got a taste of what it might be like to take care of some of my own personal priorities.  Maybe that is what the dream was about the biting of the spider a painful wake up call for me bring my focus back to me and maybe even my body.

I have spent a lot of my time dealing with my mind and my emotions.  I finally feel that I have found the answers that will allow me to be free of the need to continue trying to fix myself spiritually. During that process my body was never a priority.  It just followed my mind around without much complaining.

So I have decided to go to a more plant based diet no extremes just more plants.  This past month I have been just eating when I am hungry and mostly just one bigger healthier meal a day.  This has satisfied me and I have lost a few pounds and took the focus off food.  I now think I am ready to go one step further and start focusing on preparing more meals at home and eliminating meat from my diet.

In my past I identified myself as a good cook I spent years in the kitchen preparing tasty meals to show my love. When that piece of my life ended I lost that part of me along with many other labels I had given myself. I didn't cook for others anymore and if I did cook the joy wasn't there for me. I just cooked to get by the passion was gone.

While on my healing journey and have reached a place of peace. I no longer feel that I am broken and need to be fixed.  I know I have been looking for someone to love and cherish me but really I needed to love and cherish myself first. I can do that now and stop looking for the external world to show me I am worthy of love.

What does this have to do with diet and food.  I guess it is just me listening to my inner self telling me it is time to start nourishing my body and giving myself the love I so freely gave to others with my cooking. A slow migration towards taking care of myself physically as well as spiritually.

Over the years I have given up things like Diet Coke which I craved. I woke up one morning and was done. Then I gave up sugar in my coffee and then coffee. None of this felt like deprivation I knew in my heart that I was using these things as crutches or little rituals that helped me escape from a life that scared me.

It feels good now to just trust the process and not pressure myself into big changes. My inner spirit will take me where I need to go if I will just stop long enough to listen. That is what time off did for me it gave me a chance to listen.

This is an appropriate theme for Easter a time of year for awakenings. I have given up who I thought I was for a more whole less needy person.  This came with a lot of suffering and has brought me to a place of forgiveness for myself.  I was never enough for me I can see that now and therefore never enough for anyone else. My journey I can see now has been truly a miracle.



Thursday, March 17, 2016

Inspired by a chair - stay cation

I was inspired to take the week off.  The timing was as good as it might ever be even if I ended up working an extra day on Sunday to accomplish my escape.

It is a stay cation that is what we call it at work. It seems boring for those that look for the excitement of packing your bags and running around some new place. Eating exotic food and being exhausted for a week and then going back to work to recover.  I have done that many times in my life and that isn't what I need right now.

I live in a beautiful place where the weather is nice most of the time so why not stay home.

This week I wanted to just get up and see what the day might bring.  On Sunday before heading to work I painted the back door.  This was completely spontaneous I was just sitting out there drinking my cup of tea when I thought "I can do that".  I had the paint from the front door and an hour later it was done.

Monday I cleaned the porch I had to the door looked so good it made everything look so bad. After that I went through some boxes from the basement and found a bag of parts that came from my grandmothers house I felt inspired to do a pen and marker drawing of the collection.

Yesterday I had an appointment to get blood work done.  Just a routine test but apparently it had to be done before 9am which I wasn't prepared to do on my week off so I had to reschedule.  After that I met my friend from work and we went to a a hard to get into restaurant by 11am the line was out the door. The food was great and we split dessert.

We then went to a consignment shop where I found a really cool industrial adjustable office chair which I am sitting in right now.  It was marked down so cheap I couldn't resist.  I can always get a deal on modern items because nobody in this town is interested in this style.

I feel inspired just looking at it.  I know if sounds crazy but I love anything that you can tell someone really spent time thinking about the function as well as the design of a piece.  Everything you touch every day was designed by someone or it is naturally created. We would have nothing without designers.  We would be still sitting on the ground or sitting on stumps ( someone even had to think that up).

I think the week so far has been successful in helping me to be inspired. I have had a few moments of fear where my mind started up about being alone with no one to spend my vacation with but those moments passed and I found something else to do.

I think it is healthy to just create a space to let things bubble up even if your thoughts are full of doubt and fear. I know I need more than just weekend to face those thoughts and get past them to a healthier perspective.  If I can trust this process and not run off looking for the next distraction I can find the person I always been beneath the fear.  Before life forced me to become a survivor just getting by.

I have been a designer from the moment I discovered that I could change the way I felt by changing my space I was off and running. I am lucky that I had the courage and felt safe enough to abandon my previous career to work in a profession where I have always belonged.

I am glad I took the week of and I think it has helped me to see that I have gotten a lot of things right in my life. Even if I feel alone and sometimes lonely for the most part things are good even if I can't always see that.

Today's happiness inspired by a chair.



 



Friday, March 4, 2016

Stubborness - Control - desire

I am making an effort to take care of myself this week.  First by going to the dentist and then visiting my counselor for a little check up after last months surge of emotions. In Al-Anon's Blueprint for progress this is some of the questions it ask you. When the last time you have been to the dentist? When is the last time you had physical?  Reading these questions I thought they were ridiculous.

At the time I hadn't really done either I was losing everything and just surviving.  This wasn't unusual for me I thought life was like that.  I thought survival was all you could hope for and the best you could do was brace yourself for the next trauma. Control every minute of every day to prevent something from ruining your life and making sure everything you loved was safe.

This was an exhausting way to live.  When things were going well I attributed it to all my great planning and maintenance but when it wasn't I blamed myself for dropping the ball.  I have spent a lot of my life retracing my steps to see what errors I might of made.  Even last month these kind of thoughts were the cause of my hurting.

Blaming myself for things not going the way I wanted them to somehow feeling like there is something about me that isn't enough. What doesn't work about this thought is it doesn't factor in that I haven't been alone in my relationships.  I can't control the ones I have loved by being so perfect that they would never leave me. People are working with there own inner dialogue and are the center of their own universe and decision are made that hurt other people.

I have made some of those decisions myself.  Unfortunately for me it was only when I was forced when the pain was so great I had to jump ship. I stayed too long every time because I couldn't choose what was best for myself and I didn't want to hurt anyone. I sat by the sidelines hoping things would magically work themselves out.

The other part of this is that I have always been a fighter.  My stubbornness got me through the worst times in my life.  I would dig in and wait out the storm and it worked. Back then I didn't have a choice to leave I wasn't an adult. Stubbornness a trait that served me as a child left me lingering in bad situations as an adult. It never occurred to me that I could make a decision for my own happiness.

It is still hard even today to not somehow blame myself for not trying hard enough or being good enough to be loved by the people of my past.  The difference is today I am no longer lost in these kinds of thoughts too long and I know that it isn't true and thinking this way hurts me.

I can see that my thinking and my desire to control the uncontrollable keeps me stuck. I am trying to solve the past in hopes of having things turn out differently.

I don't know why people do what they do and maybe some of it has to do with me but not all of it. Relationships and situations are always about timing and where everyone is at any given time. Everything can flow smoothly for a long time until someone or something changes and then a shift occurs,

My counselor said that my true desires are surfacing.  They have been put on the back burner simmering waiting for me to acknowledge that I have them. That because nothing else is demanding my attention and I am feeling settled that they are calling for my attention.  I am at a place of action instead of reaction.

This is totally true I am on the hunt for something or someone that inspires me.  I am ready to let go of the thoughts that have held me back and find something more inspiring to do with my life.

Can I really break this pattern of blame and regret? The rehashing of the past has been a constant companion a source of distraction from the boredom of ordinary life.  Maybe I need that wasted energy to focus on making life a little less ordinary and find some inspiration.

I think I am ready to move on once again.