Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking for a Christmas Wreath

Making the decision to actually put out Christmas decorations is a hurdle I face every year. Last year I was depressed and distracted and the thought never crossed my mind but this year after my recent awakening I have been toying with the thought. This doesn’t mean that I will do anything about it but the fact that I am considering it is a big step.

The holidays are a time of reflection for me I don’t have the chaos in my life that most have. I work for myself so unless I throw myself a party I don’t have the company party to worry about. I am grateful for that I can remember the time and energy spent on deciding what to buy the people at work. I think gifts should show that you really know someone and not some mindless selection. If you don’t know someone very well why are you buying them a gift? I guess this is where gift cards come in to save the day. This all seems very impersonal to me.

So what to do about decorations I did make a special wreath for my old house but that really brings up a lot of thoughts even as I write. So I think I will have to meditate on how I would like to celebrate this year. It was intended that this time of year be about love and Gods ultimate gift to us. So in that spirit I will look for a way to express that kind of love this season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses

“…restore me to my capacity to wonder.”

This is the last sentence for the January 12th reading in One Day at a Time (aka ODAT). It was used for today meeting on joy and wonder. Most people focused on joy but for me wonder is really what makes me feel joy.

The beautiful rose in the picture was plucked at the peak of perfection by a friend of mine on Thanksgiving. It was even more beautiful this morning but I over slept and didn't have time to take a picture.

Today it is easier for me to see beauty and find joy. Before the program I was too busy fighting the committee in my head to pay attention to anything around me. I had a list of things that needed to be accomplished and nothing got in my way. I am not that person today. Today it is important for me to take time to see what is really in front of me whether that is a person or the beauty in nature. I am actually in the moment most of the time. For me this is the biggest gift of the program, being present.

When I see newcomers start to get better. It is like they are seeing things for the first time and for me this is joy and wonder all wrapped up together.

A rose is beautiful no matter where it came from or if it is past it’s prime. It is important for me to ask God to help me find joy and wonder every day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Today when I opened my computer journal I noticed that it has been exactly one year today since I started that journal. My feelings were so raw and I was facing the uncertainty of my life with fear. Strangely the circumstances of my life haven’t really changed that much but with the passing of time I have reached a place of acceptance.

The Serenity Prayer talks about accepting the things I cannot change. That encompasses a lot of things including sometimes my own thoughts. If a thought takes hold sometimes I am powerless, on my own, to get unstuck and sometimes only time can make a difference. Accepting my powerlessness over even my thoughts can be freeing. Sometimes just riding things out and recognizing that even though I can’t see it my Higher Power is working on me from the inside.

Today I am not the same person I was a year ago or even yesterday. I can look back to both without judgment. I can’t always be where I want or like where I am but with the program I can be in a place of acceptance.

Too Much Mail

While eating lunch one day recently I saw a station wagon being pulled on a trailer. It was packed with mail and all of the windows were covered. I wondered what the story was behind the car and how long it took to accumulate that much mail and at what point did the owner ultimately abandon the car. They could be buried beneath all that mail.

I could see that happening to me. The amount of mail that got piled up during my depression and grief could have filled a car or it seemed like that at the time. Looking at that car I guess it could have been worse. I have talked to others about this issue and it seems the mail is the last thing anyone wants to deal with during grief and depression.

I remember someone saying that she would avoid the mailbox all together for weeks. For me paperwork takes stamina and when I was at my lowest I reserved my energy for getting out of bed.

I only have a few small piles now and will get around to them soon. Progress not perfection is the key to my sanity. As for the car of mail hopefully the car really was abandoned and the owner doesn’t have to face that mail again.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

This day has meant a lot of things to me over the years. The early years while living with the effects of alcoholism I tried to use the holidays to make up for the pain I felt in the rest of my life. I wanted everything to be perfect one time I talked everyone into dressing up like pilgrims. My controlling of others had no limit. Amazingly they did it and it was pretty funny.

Later on I did recreate the Thanksgiving of the Martha Stewart kind and I did this out of love and genially enjoyed the process. That time in my life is over and most of the people that were there for that are no longer in my life. Today I can accept that and my journey has moved forward. It has taken me two years to get to this point and to realize that life goes one. Like it or not.

Today I am having an unconventional Thanksgiving with the people I love and that love me. That is all you can really ask for in life and I am grateful to be able to see that now. The program has given me a life I never even knew existed. I can be who I am and know that I am loved and accepted. This is what I consider a spiritual awakening.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes I don’t like where I am so I have to go some place else.

I took a break from writing for a couple of weeks because I was heavily involved in some on-line games. It started out pretty innocent and then morphed into a compulsive obsession pretty quick. I have since reached the peak of saturation and I have started to come down from the high and I now am bored with the whole thing.

Today I took a little break from my day and ate lunch in my car. I started thinking about where I am right now emotionally. The obsessive compulsive part of my personality has brought me to where I am today. This is something I have accused various people of through out my life after I was ignored and ditched for more interesting things.

This is hard for me to admit and part of my own Fourth Step. I have ignored the people I love from time to time while I was engrossed in the latest obsession. Usually the relationship is the obsession and just as I described the path of my latest obsession the relationships ended up the same way.

If my sponsor was here she would tell me not to be so hard on myself and she would be right. In ever relationship there are two people and both have to work together to maintain the relationship. I did my best and nothing can change to past.

Obsessions aren’t always bad and at times can give my psyche a well deserved break. It has been fun and I have returned refreshed and willing to move forward with some other more deserving obsessions in my life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Squirrels in the Attic

I have squirrels in the attic and I can hear them during the day. They sound like they are stuck but I know in time they will go back out the way they came in.

The emotional squirrels in my attic ran my life before the program. There was always confusion mixed with denial and I was crazy most of the time. Everything so out of control moving fast in all directions kept me in a state of panic and ultimately depression.

When I came into the program I couldn't control the alcoholic or really anyone in my life. When I had exhausted every possible solution I could come up with I recognized how futile and exhausting this was and I was ready for help. It seemed like defeat to give up, but I can see now, I wasn't really giving up anything. The control I thought I once had was an illusion. When I finally recognized this I was free to focus on my own life and my own recovery.

Surrendering my will and life over to the care of a God of my understanding has helped me identify the things that hold me back. The kind of thinking that makes me crazy and keeps me crazy.

I still have squirrels in the attic and I know they will work their way out eventually the same goes for my emotional squirrels. I still have to go back to step one and work my way through but it does not take as long as it did the first time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

More on Denial

Yesterday’s meeting was very emotional. Two weeks in a row there have been a lot of tears. When people share that are living with active alcoholism or about the overall effects of alcoholism on their lives it brings out buried emotion in all of us. Compassion is felt for the person speaking and for ourselves. This is how healing begin and continues for everyone.

Denial was defended for the most part. I shared a little of my story and I do understand the purpose of denial as part of the grief process. Accepting my self and others where we are is part of why the program works.

I want stay more in touch with my feelings and not be in denial until a shock brings me out of it. I have to spend more time getting in touch with my higher powers will for my life and asking to gently guided in the right direction.