Monday, May 31, 2010

Anxiety and uncertainty

I woke up with fear and anxiety today about the future. I have been reading a book on happiness and the one suggestion was “Wait until the end of the story” that statement has a lot to say. Things are uncertain every day but sometimes it seems even more uncertain so the difference is really in my out look. Nothing is really different today than yesterday. I am in the office today because I am in retail and maybe someone will be out shopping so maybe being here puts the future right out where I can focus on it.

We don’t have any way of knowing what will happen tomorrow or 5 minutes from now. Living in the present is our only option and trusting our higher power to provide for the future does require a leap of faith. That isn’t really true worrying doesn’t change what will happen in the future it just ruins what is going on now.

So can I wait until the end of the story before I decide to panic? Can I live in Step Three- Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Al-Anon-Spiritual Evolution

Yesterday I met with someone and found myself trying to explain how the Al-Anon program worked for me in the beginning and how it works now. This was harder than I thought is would be but it really made me think about where I was in the beginning and where I am now.

I didn’t recognize the alcoholism in my life until the relationship was over and by the time I reached Al-Anon I had lost the one person I thought I could not live without. At the time I thought it was my husband but now I know it was me. I was just a shell without him and I thought my life was over and I would never feel good again. I didn’t want to live and the grief of losing the only person in my life was beyond devastation. That is what the disease does and not over night. I was messed up before I got into this relationship, don’t get me wrong, but I could accomplish anything I set my mind to but once I found my soul mate I slowly turned my will and my life over to the disease. Cunning, baffling and powerful is what they say I don’t know how such a determined self-reliant person ended up a vacant shell with no support. The alcoholic had his drinkers a lot of them too to support him and a new woman, I expect a lot like me, that could see his potential and was willing to do whatever was needed to support her man ok at the time my man. So that was the beginning I was broken and empty and the 12 steps brought me back to life. I didn’t really work the steps I was too tired for that I just showed up. For my relationship it was too late I was up against something that I could not control, no one can.

I got better quickly in the program. I am willful and I know now that if I hadn’t been so empty and stripped away of all hope I wouldn’t have ever accepted the program. I would have thought I could handle it and never found the peace and even joy that I have now.

Now I can share that experience with others and use the steps to stay on the right track. I look at things differently today and spend my time discovering the person I truly am and not the person that life forced me to be. I still can be a care-taker but the difference is I know when I am doing it and can back off when I am spread too thin. Before it was like breathing I never wanted to disappoint any one and would end up feeling depleted and resentful. If I take care of my own needs I can be there for others in a more authentic way. I can share the gift of the program and the hope that it is possible to change oneself and be happy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Step One- Admitting things are unmanageable

I talked to someone that was out on a ledge today and ready to jump. I could immediately feel the pain of living with someone else’s addiction. The thoughts that run through your head tend to be I can fix this, I should be able to get this person to stop doing this and if they really wanted to they would stop. It is hard to accept that it is a disease and the disease is in control. It is not personal but it feels personal it affects your every day life and without help you become just as crazy as the person with the addiction. You are obsessed with finding a solution or just obsessed with tracking their every move.

It is a family disease and takes over your life slowly and you wake up one day and you don’t recognize yourself. You have given yourself to the disease it has removed all traces of the person you once were. This is the bottom for most of us and if you are lucky you know to go to a meeting.

Getting to this place was a long and painful process for me but when I did get there I was ready to surrender the pain was so great and I was exhausted.
There is a reason they call it step one. Admitted we were powerless and that our lives have become unmanageable.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Step Two

Step Two- Came to believe a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.

With the present spiritual correction of our country there is more uncertainty than ever. Things are getting better and people are starting to come out from under their rocks and moving about. I am in sales and the uncertainty of this time is always close at hand for me and my partners.

Yesterday I was off and got a call from someone I work with who was in a panic over the future of our business. I was already physically tired and joined in on the fear and spent the afternoon thinking about what should be done. I finally was able to reach someone in the program and they were able to get me back on track and realize I had no power over what others were doing and that it was my decision to buy into the fear. She was right.

I had an afternoon appointment with the person that was the center of the issue and I was able to look at the situation from a spiritual place and not try to do anything about it. It will work out with or without me doing anything.

In this case a power greater than myself was my friend. Working the program doesn’t mean you are always happy but it does mean you don’t spend as much time being unhappy as you use to and that is progress.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Learning to love yourself

I watched Oprah last night and they were talking about weight gain and addiction to food. Oprah talked about how when recently she said no to someone she immediately wanted to eat and how now she realized that this went back to her childhood and the repercussion she faced when she didn’t please someone. Her Grandmother would whip her and then threaten her if she cried about it denying her emotions so she needed an outlet.

No matter what we do there will always be that small child inside that seeks the approval of someone and the need to feel approval and unconditinal love. Learning to love ourselves is the hardest part of recovery. Our obsessions whether food or the alcoholic are a symptom of denying our feelings. Sometimes it is saying yes when you want to say no or being in a relationship that no longer supports us. We say yes when our subconscious is saying this isn’t what I want any more and then feeling guilty for not appreciating what we have. Not wanting to face those feelings of being trapped.

Seeing things as they are sometimes is more than we can take and so we run towards something else. Facing the truth about what we are feeling doesn’t mean we have to walk away from something or somebody just that we have to ask ourselves what do we want truly want. Everyone deserves to be happy and loving ourselves enough to be honest about our latest obsession can start to release the pain of the past and find small ways to redirect our lives towards what we do want.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Step Four- Taking inventory

I have spent the last few days doing a personal inventory. It has been an inventory of my belongings but it is for me also a spiritual inventory. Looking through all my stuff takes energy and helps me evaluate where I am in my life and where I have been. When I moved almost 2 ½ years ago I was in shock it took everything I had to pack and move. I don’t consider myself a materialistic person but I am attached to my stuff. It represents where I have been in my life and when I am ready to get rid of something I am spiritually ready to move past that place in my life. A periodic purge is healthy and it is funny how something that you thought was important at one point in your life has no real meaning later on.

Taking an inventory material or spiritual can take a lot out of you and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Even if intellectually you think you’re over something you can’t escape the feelings that come up but it is worth the work and will leave you lighter than before. Facing the feelings associated with the past is the best way to live in the present.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Freedom and Butterflies

Over the past couple of years butterflies have been a sign of love for me. I have accepted that I will never be the same and maybe that is a good thing. When at my lowest I prayed for a sign that I would be alright. I started seeing butterflies and it gave me comfort. Even while I was telling my counselor about it one flew past the window. I am better now than when I started this journey and even though I still fight the fear change causes I am at peace. I am painting the bathroom of my house and a friend of mine helped me removed the over sized mirror and this was what was behind it. It is a sign to me that I am heading in the right direction and that I am loved.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Places that are hard

My spiritual journey has taken me to places I would have never gone willingly. I have always had the need to know why from a very early age and drove my parents crazy. I now just mostly drive my self crazy and some of my close friends. It seems I am never satisfied with what is I always want more even if it is just a little more insight. Even when my mind is not focused on any thought in particular the emptiness is incapacitating. I mean that in a literal way.

This week I decided I would take the week off and ended working more than usual. I am not complaining because I am self-employed so I will try again in the near future. I did have to opportunity to see where I use to live and the renovation that I inspired. It was where I thought I would live the rest of my life. It didn't really move me the way I thought it would. I have been working on my own spiritual renovation and I have learned that what you think you can't live without you really can and freedom even when forced on you can bring you peace.

I keep thinking that I will feel like my old self again when I had a clear picture of my future and a sense of belonging. I am coming to realize that as a spiritual being I will never feel like I truly belong here so I can relax and know that I am loved and provided for in ways I cannot imagine.