Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Step 6 - I can see my horse?

I went briefly to the dark side yesterday. I was off and had a small job installing yesterday morning and they had a lot of issues. I jumped through a few hoops and solved the immediate crisis but could see the small profit we were going to make going down the drain.

I want so badly for something to go right and move out of this cycling negativity. I want get back up on the horse and start riding but my horse is a little skittish. Just when I think he is ready he takes off.

Should I get different horse or do I need two horses? This is the dilemma for me when fear over takes me and I crawl literally back in my bed and pull the covers over my head, like I did yesterday. My ability to move forward comes to a screeching halt. I am paralyzed.

Something happen that I thought might shed some light on my fear. While writing in my journal I decided to write out the steps. A simple task I thought but I was missing one of the steps. For the life of me I couldn't remember which one. I didn't have a copy near by so I let it go. Today I remembered it was Step Six. I was all about Step Seven asking to have my shortcomings removed but Step Six was no where to be found.

Step Six, were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Just getting ready in other words waiting. Waiting has always been my nemesis. The enemy that pushes me to edge until I just do something anything right or wrong.

So here I am getting ready. So what part of me is not really ready? Am I not sincere in my proclamation of Step Seven. So maybe I'm not willing to give some defect up. Maybe it is not enough to ask for general removal at this point. Maybe I can't see something that is holding me back.

I have a lot of defects and most are related to my will so I spend most of my days hanging out with Step Three. This waiting is probably related to my will in some way.

I have always had a plan, a clear focus a direction that I was sure about for my life but now nothing seems clear and I am uncomfortable with that.

I can see my horse sunning just a few feet away from me. I am sitting on the fence not moving an inch. If I jump down I am afraid he will bolt, but I can't sit here forever. I think I will wait just a little longer.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Head in the Clouds

My horoscope said I have stars in my eyes today and can't see how things really are. I am ok with that it won't be the first time or the last I suspect.

I spent the morning cleaning the showroom and the afternoon designing a new kitchen. I have just had a late lunch and I am about to start writing the bills.

No customers today the weather is really beautiful and I didn't expect a lot of traffic. I am in good spirits again today for that I am grateful. My sister called to catch up and we talked for an hour. I was using my multi-tasking skills designing while talking.

We seem to be exactly in the same spiritual place in our lives. This astounds me since me never agreed on anything spiritually. We are older and wiser or just plain wore out and decided we can only do our best and leave the rest to God.

I posted a picture I took a couple of weeks ago. It is similar to one I posted featuring the tree this time I posted it because I liked the clouds.

I guess maybe I have stars in my eyes or maybe I just have my head in the clouds. What difference does it make. Grateful to be happy again today.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Step 12 - Feel the insanity

I am so up today it actually feels strange. I am grateful that the waves of bad thoughts have passed this week. Today I witnessed someone another person's meltdown and I am feeling grateful for where I am.

It is a hard thing to see your earlier self in someone else and know they are going to have to crash and burn to get better. My business partner is fighting with her husbands ex-wife over child support. Hmm, what is wrong with that statement?

Un-treated Al-Anon with a sober husband and no program for either in sight. It can be done but it has got to be a harder way to go. She gets fired up about all the injustice in the world and wants someone to pay and won't stop until someone does. In this case it is the ex wife who wants more child support.

The story is too long and not really important. Even though my partner is right, it doesn't really matter the pushing and drama is draining spiritually for everyone involved. Including for us at the office but today it didn't let it phase me.

I did try to convince her to take the spiritual high road. Let God work out the details and the the vengeance. I just threw that in to sell the deal.

We see everything from our own limitations and today she was a victim. I was determined to not get sucked in no matter what. I see today so clearly what my program has done for me even though sometimes I feel I haven't made much progress.

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

A grateful student today.

Footnote: The support actually got reduced. God doesn't need our help.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tomorrow never comes

I have pulled myself up by my boot straps today. I often heard this in my family and thought, why does your boots need straps? I am in the office and put on my old manager persona and started getting things done.

I am focusing on what will bring in income for the business first and directing the owner while he is cleaning up the showroom.

We have work close to contract and in a few weeks we will be less stressed so I am committed to focusing on what can be done. We can clean and get organized. It is free and adds value. Act as if, isn't that what they say in the program. It is the waiting that makes you feel like things will never change so being busy is a good distraction.

I have felt lost and overwhelmed this week. It looks like I am alone in my situation but looks can be deceiving. The owner mentioned today that Jesus might come soon and that will solve everything. He is right that would solve everything but just in case we should have an alternate plan. My partner is handling her stress by compartmentalizing everything so she won't go insane. I have seen her insane and it is not pretty so it is best I leave her be today.

I decided last night to give myself until the end of the month to grieve over my dog officially. That means that I will be extra nice to myself. I won't over commit and I will eat what I want and get plenty of rest. I had a big bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese last night and watched Idol. Two of my favorite things. I didn't feel guilty for carb loading and once the carb coma hit I was at peace with the world.

Sometimes I miss the old me, the take no prisoner me. I was unstoppable at least in my own mind. I am happier in my head than I use to be but living consciously can be tough sometimes. When you don't accept responsibility for your own life you can weep and wail about how unfair life is and who's to blame for it, that keeps you busy. Too bad once you are awake you can't go back to the blame game.

Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Today this moment I am sane and not too worried about tomorrow. I can always do that when it gets here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ships Colliding

I went to my favorite spot yesterday a state park with a tall platform the gives a 360 degree view over the marsh. It was windy and a perfect 72 degree and I was alone. I stayed up on my perch for at least an hour without interruption.

I watched as two huge cargo ships came face to face and looked that they would hit head on but silently glided past each other tooting their horns once. The birds of the marsh replied with their own horns.

Thinking about it now looks can be deceiving. When it looks like disaster it could be just a trick of the eye or the heart. From my perspective they were head to head and then I was proved wrong. I could only see it from my own distorted angle. Even if I had been right, all I could have done is watch. Their course doesn't have anything to do with me. I was a silent spectator just as I am in the lives of others on their course.

I am at work today an feeling powerless and my life has become unmanageable. At least that what it seems like from my vantage point today. It could be distorted I can only hope.

Came to believe a power greater than my self can restore me to sanity. I will wait for that power today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Elevators Crashing - Who is on your elevator?

Just before I woke up this morning I had a very vivid dream. I dreamed that my ex-husband and I were visiting friends in a high rise building at the beach. We were traveling up in the elevator in silence, both up against opposite walls. The elevator broke and we started falling. We were both very calm and knew we were about to die. My last words before waking up were, you know when we hit our heads will be crushed against the ceiling.

I have felt kind of hung over from this dream all day. Some say dreams don't mean anything and others say they tell us secrets about our inner desires or fears.

First I haven't seen my ex in 15 years. He did come up in some healing work I was doing a few nights ago. I was surprised that I had anythings left to forgive or be forgiven for with him. It is part a series of healing proclamations. You say out loud __________ stands before me and I ask them to forgive me as I have forgiven them. You use the first person that comes up and there he was.

As for the dream I could say we both stood there without emotion while our relationship plummeted to the ground. With me already thinking about how this would affect my head. We were helpless at the time facing alcoholism and both knew we were going down. Close as two people could be trapped in an elevator but still not able to comfort each other. Outside forces in control of our lives, we thought.

I am in a place of acceptance in my life. The choices that I have made have brought me to the place I am today. Not necessarily bad just not where I thought I might be. I know I am not alone in those thoughts but occasionally I have to look at the journey that led me here. I can do that with detachment without blaming myself or others and accepting what is not what I dreamed it would be.

A quote from Syd's blog still on my wall. "Did you ever wonder what your life would be like? Well, this is it. The fantasy is over. Now get to living."

I did feel trapped in that relationship and this is a re-occurring theme for me and now I realize I don't have to wait for it to hit bottom to get out. I can choose not to get on the elevator in the first place or take the steps instead.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Step Two - Dealing with insanity

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

It is quiet here in the office today my partners child is sick and she is not coming in today. She has been taking Thursdays off but was working today because she called in sick on Monday. The owner is not here and it is really peaceful.

Yesterday my expectations for the day were high but after getting here it became a free for all. I must have been interrupted a 100 times with both personal and business issues. I was trying to meet some deadlines and it was just not happening.

I am a co-trustee for my aunt's estate and her grandson a beneficiary and has an addiction problem. He gets a decent monthly check and doesn't work so he spends his time trying to find ways to spend the principle. He has a house full of people living off of him and he has lost his children to the state permanently due to drugs and various other things. I am the only thing that stands between him and spending everything.

He has reduced his trust by 1/3 on lawyers fees trying to get his kids back. He did get them back and then lost them again. Yesterday he put in a request for us to pay for a pain medication. It was declined by the bank who it the other trustee after we discussed the addiction issue. We paid for antibiotics last week without question so he thought he would just submit another request and no one would notice $200.00 for pain meds. He already had the prescription filled and managed to come up with the money.

He has been calling an texting nasty messages for the past 24 hours non-stop. This is how he gets what he wants he wears people down. I turned my phone off this is how I get what I want, peace. He is smart when it comes to beating the system but emotionally he can't survive in a normal working environment. He has emotional outburst and gets fired.

When he depletes the trust he will be on the street along with the four people living with him. My responsibility is to keep this from happening as long as I can. He knows where I work and live which makes me nervous he has showed up here only once in the past five years. If I ignore him he usually gets over it eventually.

His issues always seem to surface when I am already maxed out, like yesterday. He threaten to come to my house so I opted to go to a friend's house for dinner last night. It was nice and peaceful.

A new day with endless possibilities and I intend on having some peace even if is only in my own mind. This is where it counts, right?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day of Solitude and Reflection

Step Eleven

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.

I started my day off by sleeping embarrassingly late yesterday. I was caught in a dream life and I couldn't give it up. I kept going back for more. I did finally get up and make coffee and went to the porch to write down my dream before I forgot it.

My neighbor came over after seeing me on the porch. He said he had something for me and within minutes I heard a knock at the door. I was in my robe and barely had time to get dressed. This is unusual since he has never been in my house.

He brought me over a bottle of homemade wine. He said he has been making wine for over 30 years. We sat on the porch and he told me about his life. He is a semi-retired acupuncturist and has been married three times. The few times I have seen his current wife she has had a big glass of wine in her hand. This might explain why.

He said he got into acupuncture about 15 years ago to help people. Interestingly enough he was previously in chemical sales seems like a logical transition. I told him I had used acupuncture for depression and my menopause when I first moved here. He said he couldn't imagine that I was depressed with all the parties I had had when I first moved in. This was me filling the void and parties were my friends from the program. That seems like a million years ago now.

My house has been empty since August. I finally faced the silence I had been running from and the silence is no longer painful. I was afraid that if I faced it it would swallow me and I would disappear. No one knew not even me just how lost I was until I became willing to stop running.

To my surprise the darkness didn't take me. It tried but I held my ground and it passed quickly and was replaced by a power greater than myself. As the months have passed I have become more comfortable in this peace I have found. I only lose it when I listen to my mind with all its infinite possible scenarios for doom.

To make conscious contact I meditate. My meditation usually involves cleaning with music sometimes and other times I need silence. I spent the rest of the day yesterday meditating erasing all physical traces of my dog. Folding and storing the dozen towels I used each week and scrubbing the floors. I put her bowl on the altar I created for the things and people I care about both alive and and in spirit.

The house is really clean for the first time in a long time. In order to deal with my dog and her aged state I had to let go of keeping things the way I would like them. First it was me and my depression and then it was her with her issues.

I am just starting to realize how much energy was going into taking care of her. I wouldn't change a thing but am relieved that I can live more free. Now that she isn't living in the kitchen I might actually cook and eat. I cleaned the refrigerator out yesterday and it looks pretty bare.

One day a week away from the computer and people, other than my neighbor, has changed my life. I feel more connected to God and able to listen for direction and a fringe benefit is that my house now reflects my mind. The clutter is gone for the moment just like the house is clean for the moment.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do I need that sweater?

I looked at jobs in the mortgage industry yesterday and found one that I am qualified for. I have been in a panic watching my saving dwindle with the slow sales at work.

I have been praying and meditating a lot and asking that I get a sign or some direction if I should cut loose and just go back from whence I came. I had an appointment Friday night and the woman said she knew me and it turns out that we started at the same company at the same time and she knows all the people I know.

I thought maybe it was a sign so I checked the postings where she works now and found the job. I am split and it is keeping things from moving forward for me. Sitting on the fence not totally commited to a path. This is hard the waiting, it is what trips me up.

This morning I thought about my sweater story. I am cold and scared and looking for something to make me feel safe where I am. The grief related to my dog might be making me feel a little less grounded. I want a sweater even if it is the wrong one. Can I resist the temptation to do the logical thing. Is it a test?

I am not the person I was back when I was in that industry. The program changed me made me see how rigid I was and helped me find the natural me not the one that developed out of self defense. I am thinking I can't go back and I love what I do.

Can I resist the temptation to pick security over passion? Can I have faith that I am on the right path? Can I commit to myself and my passion can I trust my higher power has brought me this far and will provide me with what I need to succeed.

I think I can. I had two appointments today on Sunday. Being out and about free and doing what I love. I can't see being tied to a cubicle and working for someone else again. My skills as a manager and motivator can be used to promote my own business.

So for today I am still naked and I am learning to knit as fast as I can.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

For Vicky - Finding Love

I feel compelled to write this today. I have gone back to my work three times and I can't shake this feeling that I must write about this so here it is. This happen almost 2 years ago but this the message is clear.

Untreated Al-Anons can die from their disease. It might not be from a dramatic over dose or under a bridge somewhere but it is a death related to a disease that affects us all.

The disease isn't so easy to spot it masquerades as kindness and giving. Giving until it hurts until our own health is in jeopardy. It is putting everyone first in hopes that someone will notice and make us feel worthy of love. Showing our value to the people around us to get that love and approval we so deserve.

My friend Vicky was like that and it ultimately killed her. In her love life she had a man that told her regularly not to get attached to him because she wasn't his girlfriend. On the job she worked 12 hours a day and took a 10% pay cut from a boss that would call her day and night. She gave her kids everything.

She was sick physically and emotionally. She was a Type II diabetic that should have been taking especially good care of herself but ultimately ran herself into the ground to take care of others.

We met after she worked in our office for a couple of weeks and we had and instant connection. Being raised in an alcoholic home and had been married to an alcoholic I tried to get her to go to meetings but it didn't happen. She was too busy taking care of everyone else.

She called me one day to take her to the doctor she had been sick for a few days and didn't want to ask her boyfriend because he was busy. She couldn't drive because she was too sick. I took her to the doctor and he said to take her to the emergency room. I did and we were there for eight hours before she got a bed. When I left at 1 AM she was getting antibiotics and waiting for a room.

She had massive heart failure and a stroke and was never conscious again. None of her family came that night or the boyfriend. I was the only one there a person that only knew her casually. They didn't even have a memorial for her.

I found out that because she was run down and dehydrated her organs failed. If she had taken care of herself she would still be here. Her death changed me forever. It showed me that you can't give yourself away to get the love you need. You have to love yourself and find a God you trust to fill the void.

So what is the point of this post. Love yourself take care of yourself be a friend to yourself a loving parent to yourself. Always putting other first can kill you it is a family disease.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mixing the past and present - It is not my problem

The truth as I see it today. I came to the office late today because I needed some time to myself. I worked and extra day this week and with this weeks trauma I decided to come in late.

I don't like the position I am in at work and I am feeling resentful that everyone is waiting for me to make a move. Yesterday I thought I should just walk away but decided I should give myself some time to grieve losing my dog before making any rash decisions. This morning I felt better until I got to the office.

The owner comes to me complaining that he has to pay $35.00 to get his drivers license replaced. How unfair it is that he has to have all this identification and how the government is always trying to screw you. He needs his SS card and can he get it on-line? Since he doesn't use a computer it means, can you check that for me? I didn't do it. I wanted to ask him who lost the license, but I didn't.

This has made my blood boil today. Why? Because he never takes responsibility for creating the messes he creates and then expects everyone to feel bad and bail him out. Last week his homeowners insurance was cancelled because he didn't get the repair they requested done by the deadline and then they wouldn't give him an extension. In a Al-Anon slip I got on the phone and talked to the company it didn't work.

This is so familiar this behavior it takes me way back. I don't want to be the hero in any one's life and I got stand my ground. When I went to his house to take pictures of the repair, another slip, he smelled of beer. Another flash from the past.

The difference now is I can see it. His problems are not my problems and if I take them on it is my fault. If I cross back over to the crazy side I do it willingly and not as a victim. I know better than I did in the past. I am not really expecting him to take any responsibility for the crisis with the business or any other crisis he creates. Today I am doing what is best for me and he will have to accept the consequences of his own actions or maybe not but it is not my problem.

My sponsor said I need a few days off together to grieve and clear my head. She is right it has been a rough week and even though I knew the end was near for my dog it was a loss that I must acknowledge.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Faith or Denial

What is next? That is what I am asking myself today. I treated myself to a big fat juicy hamburger for dinner last night. It was technically a Patty Melt a new item on the menu at my favorite local restaurant. They have become like family and since I decided that I a want a life of solitude I go there once in awhile alone. I needed some comforting food in my grief and they are always very kind.

Now that Sandy's gone there is even more open space in my life. I can revisit getting a roommate and leaving town if I want. With the work situation I have no funds so the latter probably won't happen soon. It seems strange all the emptiness all this uncertainty but for the most part I feel like it is going to be fine. Denial or faith, does it really matter?

My horoscope said today it didn't matter how carefully I planned that things were happening too quickly to keep up and to just go with my gut. Paraphrased of course. I read them every day along with the hexagram. Always just for inspiration take what you like and leave the rest. The hexagram is ancient Chinese proverbs or something. Today it was Patience. It talked about when one is fishing it is the patient fisherman that ultimately gets the catch. It also said waiting builds spiritual strength and in times of waiting the wise use the time to focus on God.

Truthfully in all my whining I have gotten better at waiting than I ever have been. It is my nature to jump ship plunge into the next thing right or wrong just to stop the anxiety related to uncertainty. Better to be wrong than to feel any discomfort.

This I am afraid is my lesson. I don't really understand God's plan he didn't ask for my approval or consult with me to get my ideas. This is really hard for me a doer just to float along and watch life unfold.

I am having heart palpitations at night and dreamed I was trying to get a job at Subway. So maybe I am having a little anxiety. I am still waiting on the call back about the job.

Here I am in the boat with no oars today. Hoping that my faith will carry me through and believing that it isn't just denial.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts about my loss it is appreciated.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In honor of my companion

I made the decision to let go of one more thing. It was time. This picture was taken our first Christmas together many years ago. She has been gone a long time in spirit I just wasn't ready to lose one more thing. My sponsor went with me a dog lover and a good friend I cried a lot yesterday but woke up relieved and peaceful this morning. My little Sandy 18 years old and the last 8 living life as a queen.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beads for Sunday - Growing up

On the 7th day God rested and so did we. In my home growing up we honored the idea that Sunday was a holy day and no work was done. We would get up and go to Sunday school and then to church. After church we would have a big Sunday dinner and then a nap and then off to church again Sunday night.

It was a quiet routine and a thing of the past these days. In my neighborhood someone is always cranking up the power tools just as I settle in on my back porch with my coffee. I have always hated louds noises. I think it is worse for me now since my mind is quiet. At least before the voice in my head distracted me from the fact that the world is noisy.

I have implemented my own Sunday ritual which involves being alone and hanging around the house. I give myself the day off from working my job and worrying about the future or the past. No one is looking for me or expecting anything from me. I have done this for the past month and it has really restored my peace of mind.

Today I broke my new routine because I previously scheduled a class with my friend making jewelry out of beads. She gave me the gift of the class for Christmas and this was the day of the class. I am not that into jewelry but the process of making something was fun and the beads were beautiful.

It was a good distraction from my situation with my dog. She still isn't eating and I will have to make a hard decision in the next couple of days. I bathed her when I got home and made her a comfortable as possible.

Taking Sundays off mentally and just practicing some mindfulness around the house has brought on a lot of clarity for me. It is weird to become wiser with age and in that wisdom seeing your life come full circle.

Spiritually I am becoming more and more like my parents. Establishing my on strong beliefs and living life in a way that really honors those beliefs. I had to take the long way to come full circle but it is still back where I began this life.

The only real difference is that to feel secure in their religion everything was black and white. For me I realize now that everything is gray and I am ok with that.

Take what you like and leave the rest works for me and finding the program helped me to get to a place that I can admit that my parents way of thinking wasn't all bad. That is progress for me and I can see that and appreciate it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Where is my sweater? A little humor.

I was born naked just like everyone else. My parents saw my nakedness and decided I needed a sweater. They put their hearts and heads together and came up with what they thought was a perfect sweater for me. It had some of their gifts and some of things they wished they had had growing up.

I wore that sweater until I left home and saw that my sweater was different from anyone else is sweater. Then someone offered me theirs it was brightly colored a little too big but when I wore it people always complimented me. They would say how lucky I was to have that sweater. Then it started to feel a little itchy and one day I could stand it anymore and had to have it off.

I was naked again and it was cold. I thought I had made a mistake by ditching the sweater. I tried to get it back but it was gone. Then I was offered another sweater and in a moment of weakness I took it. It was really different than the other sweater it was kind of plain but comfortable and warm. It wasn't really my style so I didn't really appreciate it until I lost it one day.

So I am naked again just like in the beginning. I have been this way for awhile and I have gotten use to it. I have become comfortable in my nakedness. I have been cold through the winter without a sweater but it is spring now and I don't really have to have one right now. I have some time to look for another before winter to find one that is perfect for me.

This time I have decided to take up knitting.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Life and Death

My mood is flat today. I have spent the last three hours with an unexpected customer appointment. I did have plans to meet my sponsor for lunch and use this day to work on small bits of unfinished work but the powers at be thought otherwise.

It is my partners day to cover the showroom and she had an appointment off site at the end of the day. Her appointment moved to lunch time so she had to leave. So much for planning the day.

My dog is close to the end I think. She is not eating much and is sleeping a lot. This has happened before and she has bounced back. She doesn't really know me anymore. It is sad but she is 18 and I have given her the best life possible. I make her meals with fresh ingredients and have loved her as my own for the past 8 years.

She has the personality of my Aunt her original owner. Independent and not too affectionate. My Aunt found her on the street with heart worms and ear infections. When she died I didn't want to take in an old dog. I had just put my dog of 17 years a sleep and the vet told me this dog had at best 6 months.

The dog was unfriendly and barked at me when I visited my aunt. She was really gross back then because my aunt was losing it and refused to have her groomed properly. She also was an outside dog had terrible skin problems and ear infections.

I caved and brought her home. It took me two years to get her ears cleared up and I was told to give her Benadryl for her skin. The first night I did that she ran around the house like the roadrunner. News flash she was allergic to Benadyl and she had been giving it to her everyday for five years.

She won me over pretty quick. She has the loudest bark for a 30 lb dog that I have ever heard. She has never been too affectionate maybe from the years outside or from being a stray, I don't know. She showed her love by eventually following me from room to room.

We have never connected the way I did with my previous dog. I guess we both have trust issues. We have a quiet understanding an appreciation for each other. When I moved she was so happy she probably could sense that I was unhappy in that relationship.

I miss the days when she was healthy and would watch lizards for hours sitting in one place. She caught a baby one once and from that point on she checked the same spot everyday.

It is time. It feels like she has been waiting for me to be alright. Without the depression I can handle the idea of losing one more thing a little better. I think animals can sense when you need them. I am sad but sad in an appropriate way. This sadness is not despair it is out of respect for the ending of a life. The tears are out of respect for what she has given me.

Of course I don't regret taking her in now or making fresh food for her. The diet cleared up her skin permanently. Side note she beat the heart worms without treatment.

Every life comes to an end it is part of the plan. Who knows I could be wrong she might make a come back she is pretty tough.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Little Bird Told Me

I was sitting on my porch on Monday writing in my journal and I wrote I wish my mother was here. She would comfort me and tell me it will be alright and possibly make me a chocolate cake.

About that time a tiny bird flew under the screen door only an inch of space. It bounded across the porch and up on the table where I had my feet propped up. We sat there eye to eye I didn't dare move.

I thought oh no it is going to get trapped and I will have to help it off the porch. In that instant it hopped off the table and went back under the door.

My first thought was God doesn't need my help. The second, thanks mom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cunning Baffling and Powerful

I can't help but continually analyze my life look at where I have been and where I might be going. It is the core of me and something I have come to accept. Responsibility is always part of who I am etched permanently in my personality.

Living life with such seriousness can be draining and by the time I found the 12 steps I had made serious and art form. I never laughed and hadn't experienced joy in so long I wasn't sure it was possible for me. I gravitated to the alcoholic in my life because he seemed so different fun loving a real party guy. I wanted that for myself but being with him made me more serious because I felt responsible for keeping him safe. I was the designated driver for him and his friends.

It has taken a few decades to realize that I have to find my own joy and in the case of the fun loving active drinker what I found was the outside did not mirror the inside. We were really the same but the alcohol helped cover up the disdain he had for himself. Just like me never enough always blaming someone else for the bad breaks in life. I blamed him he blamed just about anyone but me at first and then me.

I watched an interview with David Arquette first time sober since he was 12. He talked about how perfect Courtney was to him. The perfect mother and wife. It was funny because I thought that describes the Al-Anon personality. He said he was the live wire and she grounded him. What a big responsibility to be someones everything.

I thought sickness to be with someone that is totally checked out. To be responsible and part of me thought power and control. The addiction has the power and it was my illusion to think I was every in control.

Cunning baffling and powerful. The cunning part was that before the drinking escalated it made me think I was in control and then the disease started moving into my territory. Just a little here a little there rebelling against me seeing just how far it could go. Pulling back from time to time to make me think I was back in charge.

Just as I eased my grip boom full on chaos and rebellion. Its power could not be matched no matter how smart I was or how much my husband loved me the disease won.

It has been many years since I live with active alcoholism but it left a mark on me a scar from many battles. It is the belief that you can win the battle for someone you love that takes you down. They have to fight for themselves and you have to get out of the way. You can put on your 12 step armour and become a warrior protecting yourself by being healthy and having x ray vision to see through the cunning part.

Addiction has been around as long as humans I suspect and it knows all the games. Being aware and present is the only way I have found to not get caught up in the game. We have all be affected by the disease and have taken on some of its subtle manipulating ways. Sometimes I catch myself using some of those techniques that I learned to get what I want instead of simply asking.

I wasn't going to write about this but here it is. I guess the interveiw brought up a lot of feelings about how superior we think we are to the alcoholic and how we are just as sick to want to be with someone that is not really there. I thought I was better but really we were the same. Covering up pain in different ways me with control and him with the alcohol.

The steps helped me to find myself and realize that I am the only person that can make me happy or make me sad. Recognizing my part in everything has been a gift. It has helped to not feel victimized. The scars are just a reminder. I don't carry the pain anymore but it helps to remember just how far I have come.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sewing - Shortcomings and Amends

If you have ever done any sewing you know you have to become one with the machine. Sewing isn't hard it is getting the machine to work properly that can make the difference between having a spiritual awakening and creating something beautiful or having a spiritual breakdown and identifying all your shortcoming in a matter of seconds.

I brought out my old sewing machine for the first time in about 15 years. You want to see if your program is working this is a good place to start. It was Saturday night and about 10 pm when I got the bright idea to start a sewing project. First I am old because I had a hard time threading the needle. 15 years and I have gone blind.

I can't help but think of my Grandmother Bryant whenever I sew or really do anything creative and quirky. She taught me how to sew on her peddle machine and I was her official needle threader. I made my first piece of clothing with that machine and I still have it. I was probably eight and it was a white dinner jacket for my ventriloquist doll. Complete with a black tie. I was seriously into puppets at that age hmmm maybe a matter to visit later.

My Grandmother was a queen in her own mind and expected things to go her way and they usually did. When my mother died she cried for 3 years until one day she said God doesn't want me to be sad anymore. My mom was her baby and she expected her to take care of her forever. My grandmother was a woman of faith and the loss of my mother tested that faith.

She was my greatest fan and encouraged my creativity more than anyone else. She displayed my creations and showed them to everyone that visited. She had a light about her but she also had a dark side. When she wanted you to do something it had to be in her time and that usually meant right now. When the family didn't comply she would get strangers to do what she wanted.

I was in my mid 20's when she got bone cancer. By that time she had moved here and had switched her expectations from my mother to me and I had resisted. My marriage was already not going well I was determined not to get caught in her web. My aunt came down from Chicago to take care of her. I visited her regularly but never connected to her situation emotionally. I was shutdown most of that decade and really have few memories. I abandoned her when she needed me most.

She was a product of her very scary childhood. Her father killed in a bar fight and her mother died and she was raised by a strict aunt. She married had nine children and then her husband died in a sawmill accident and she was left to fend for herself and this is how she did it. She saw every person as someone that potentially had something to offer. Even when she didn't need to do this it had become part of her personality this is how she survived.

I made amends to her this weekend while I was asking her to help me with sewing machine that refused to work on Sunday. It is never too late to make amends. She is a big part of me and my personality. She taught me that you can ask God for anything and he will always help. Everyone laughed one time because she asked God to get rid of the bugs in her house. It was a 100 year old house but I never saw a bug there.

She did what she had to do to survive just as I did what I had to do to survive. Even if that meant shutting down during her sickness. I had experienced so much loss by then I was numb to it and was determined not to care about anything again.

It had taken me 20 years to thaw completely and to come to terms with loss. It hurts whether you acknowledge it or not. Loss is part of being alive and the fact is people leave sometimes by choice and sometimes not. Accepting the ebb and flow of this process takes courage and support.

I am growing up finally, I had given up. I didn't intend on this being a serious post but it is was it is. On a lighter note after I ask for divine assistance with the sewing machine it started working perfectly. I whipped out four panels in a couple of hours. I am sure Grannys up there smiling and thinking, I told you so.