Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hanging out and Hanging on

I have been taking pictures of a frog that has been spending time outside my front door. Each day he is in a different place but he hasn’t moved very far. I guess he is just getting a different perspective of his bug buffet.

I have been working on the same thing for myself. I think if I just change my perspective I can figure things out. I get really frustrated when I can't come up with a solution and become impatient for things to move more quickly. I have found that even though it takes me a long time to get there acceptance of things the way they are is the only way to be sure things will change.

I applaud the frog and his ability to wait and be content to just change his perspective.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon-Step Three

Yesterday we took a little drive to a place that has been a refuge for me during my grief and uncertainty. It was the perfect day.

The last time I was there I went alone I was in a particularly fearful place and I thought the drive would lift my spirits but I ended up just sitting in the car unable to get out. I have learned that this too shall pass and if I don’t panic things will change and I will be ok again.

I have been feeling peaceful the past few weeks and I think it is because I have been practicing what I preach by taking care of myself and relying on the third step. I like to be busy so I over book myself until that one last commitment tips the scales. I love being with others and offering support when I can and still feel a little guilty when I have to pull back. I know that balance is one thing that I am always looking for and that knowing my limits is important. If I am rested and in a good place I have more to offer.

The other part of finding peace for me practicing the Third Step. When I get caught up in finding a solution I get in trouble. Realizing that I am not in charge helps me to be more accepting of what is true for today. Step three is simple and I need simple, turning my life over and over and over gives me place to put my fear. When I am rested I am more likely to lean back and let go.

This picture was taken last night after a day in the sun, a wonderful dinner and good company. Luckily this happens more than once in a blue moon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whipping in the wind

I was sitting in my car yesterday and I saw a long spider web that looked like a fishing line blowing in the wind. There were no trees around only my car in the middle of the parking lot. It was moving wildly in the wind and apparently attached to my car. It made me think about how life can really whip us around and if we stay grounded in our program and flexible we can feel safe and enjoy the ride.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dealing with the Dead-Fathers Day

I didn’t realize it was Fathers Day until late yesterday and this morning I woke up with some thoughts about my own father.

My dad, actually we called him daddy was a quiet man with strong convictions about a limited number of things. What does that mean well it means he limited his passion to a few things and as long as you didn’t disrespect those things he was very agreeable in an almost super human way.

He was the center of my emotional issues for most of my life. I wasn’t one of the things he was passionate about. He loved me and I didn’t doubt that I just wanted to be on that list of things he was passionate about. I have dealt with that finally after many years working on being enough for myself and realizing that whether your parents made you feel worthy you are worthy.

Someone brought up in the meeting yesterday, that even though their parents didn’t do everything right, they actually passed down some good stuff. So with that I have to give my daddy credit.

He gave me the ability to analyze things. He gave me the ability to fix just about anything and solve just about any problem. He gave me a work ethic that has made me successful in everything I have ever attempted to do. He showed me that the tortoise will always prevail as long as he keeps moving forward.

Even though this is difficult to write he gave me one thing that has sustained me through out my life, the belief in a power greater than myself. I loved him and I wanted him to be passionate about me but the list was short and I was not on it and that was hard for me to accept. This is where we are different my list is long and I am passionate about everything and everyone on it.

So there you have it my tribute to Fathers Day. One last thing my Mother died when she was 41 and I was 11 and it is easy for me to make her the fantasy mother. My father died at 70 giving him almost 30 more years to be more human and not meet my expectations. I love you Daddy and hope heaven was all that you expected it to be.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crossroads-fear or faith

I am moving down a path in my life that is not clearly marked and I have be trying to sort things out. I am trying to decide if I am moving in the right direction by staying in my current profession. So I looked at jobs on-line this morning.

It just so happened that I also went to the dentist today over by my old job. I was a dedicated corporate manager for many years at a job that drained the life out of me and ultimate made me physically sick. I stayed way too long a pattern for most of my relationships and ultimately they forced me to leave.

I stayed for the wrong reason (also a pattern) to protect the people in my department from being treated like numbers or line items on a budget. This is the way things are in corporate America efficency has made America great. The job was a great fit for me your typical control freak. I was efficient and willing to make things run smoothly and nothing got in my way. I excelled quickly and was all business.

Then I got in the program and all that changed. My take no prisoners attitude started to change. The icy efficient exterior formed in childhood began to melt and I actually realized others were hurting and the choices they made kept them stuck. I became the kinder gentler manager (my version of course). So after a few years of the new me everybody was happier but I had lost my edge or really lost my taste for pleasing everyone except myself. So I was out and chose a new career I have never looked back until now. Times are tough and without a steady income I thought about my old life. Could I go back?

The spiritual path is about faith in a power greater than ourselves. I am no longer that person created by my childhood I am more the person I was before the scars. So for today I am staying put and having faith that my higher power will show me the way.

I was right to worry about my department it was split up and eventually the whole division sold off. Maybe it was HP's plan for everyone to move on.

Friday, June 11, 2010

More of the same

Last night a group of us went to a local rehab center to do a meeting. We have been doing this as service work for about a year it has been rewarding for the most part but it can also be a little oppressive. The attendees have to come to this meeting in order to visit with their loved one on Saturday. So it is one step below a new comers meeting in that they don't come voluntarily so hostility or worse indifference is what we are faced with.

Generally they are either so sad they are beyond believing anything can help or are superior to the situation and think they have it all under control. By the time I got in the program I was a broken person and really just listened until I felt better. The superior me had been broken by the drinking and I had lost everything and that is what it took to get me to listen. It was devastation that brought to the place I am today and I am grateful.

I was superior for many years and I didn't have compassion for people that had problems they couldn't handle. I had problems and I managed to suck it up and get on with my life. Now I know that what I did was bury the pain so deep that I didn't have to face it. Without emotion I lived life like the walking dead. I didn't feel anything happiness or pain no feelings at all. When the devastation of addiction came into my life I had to face all the pain I had pushed down. It was terrifying at first when the tears came to the surface I thought it would never stop but it did eventually. Through the steps I was able to have compassion first for myself and then extend that to others.

I feel lucky that I found the steps and the road to a spiritual awakening. It isn't easy to be fully conscious all the time. Facing emotions good or bad can still be uncomfortable at times but now it is more scary to feel nothing. I look at the people in those rooms and hope they can find the freedom I have found through the steps. Their journey is different from mine and I don't know what their Higher Power has in store for them I wish them well.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Second time around-Playing Games

I have been playing an on line game I discovered months back for the second time. I had to start over because I am setting up an new computer and my scores were not saved. I remember when I found the game how hard it was to understand what they wanted you to do and my state of mind was not great and everything seemed overwhelming and complicated. I did figure it out the first time but I didn't really understand how to play and it took what it seemed like forever. This time it was more familiar and I had more information.

I feel like the Al-Anon program is the same way. In the beginning it seems like we are feeling our way through the dark. Everybody else is getting it and we are making progress but slow. Once we have made it through the steps the first time the next time is easier. We can decide to look at them from a different perspective and have confidence that we have been there before and feel less intimidated.

When I looked at the game again at first I thought they must have changed the game, it was so easy, but then I recognized one of the games. The game had not changed, I had.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Paths to Recovery-Why Al-Anon Works

I was walking in the woods yesterday and came upon a large turtle on the trail I went back to my car to get my camera and even though it wasn’t very far by the time I got back he was gone. I looked everywhere and wondered how it could move so quickly. It reminded me of how even though it seems like sometimes I am not making progress if I can just trust my higher power and keep plugging along I can look up one day and find myself some place else.

What lead me to recovery and what keeps me in recovery is two different things. The pain of what I thought someone else did to me brought me here and my true desire to find a path that leads me to a lasting peace keeps me here.

Finding relief in the beginning can feel like something permanent and I have found that a lot of people leave the program shortly after that and return later or not at all. The head convinces the heart that a miracle has occurred and that we can do it on our own and don’t need any help. Everything becomes more important than meetings and our time is more valuable and should be used for other things. This is how we got here in the first place thinking that we can do this alone and we have the answers.

I have taken some time off from attending meetings and gotten involved in some other spiritual outlets, but it is not the same. The time away has been good for me to get perspective and to appreciate the simplicity of how the program works. My mind is my best friend and worst enemy and I need the ease and familiarity of the steps to sort out my thoughts and get to a place of clarity.

Like the turtle I am moving forward not at the speed I would like but one that works for me. I sometime have to pull my head in my shell to emerge a wiser person. This is why the program works for us as well as the alcoholic it is simple and puts the chaos in our heads in order. I need that now and will always need that to find peace.