Friday, December 30, 2011

The power of words - You didn't just say that did you?

I wanted to write another post to let you know I have identified the reason for my sudden depression after the holidays.

I thought it was strictly chemical but it turns out it has to do with something my sister said to me. I felt bad again today and couldn't shake it no matter what I did. I finally called my sponsor today.

I was telling her about my trip to my sister's house. She knows her because for years I wouldn't go there alone. When I would visit it was like I was invisible so I started taking my friend and sponsor with me. We played the tourist so it didn't matter if my sister made time for me.

Today I was telling her that my sister told me that the reason my husband left me 20 years ago was because I was too much work for him. Before she said this she said I know you don't want to here this but. I didn't react and brushed it off at the time. She didn't know me then or my husband and really had no basis for saying that.

I believe my husband was an alcoholic and an adult child of an alcoholic. I was equally messed up with my own stuff and didn't have a clue how to deal with him or his anger. I was in my 20's with no tools to work with. I did my best.

When I told my sponsor what she had said tears started rolling down my face. Evidently some part of the what she said I felt was true. I loved him so much and when he left it broke my heart. It also saved my life because I went to Al-Anon and learned how to see how messed up my thinking was. Was it my fault he left? No.

My sister's words weren't meant to hurt me. Most unsolicited advice isn't meant to intentionally hurt someone but it can and does.

I have done the same thing plenty of times I am sure. I think it is interesting how the words of someone you love can hurt more deeply even when you aren't close.

I have problems reaching out because I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I don't want to be too much work. Maybe this is why her words hurt and even when she said it I blocked the emotions until I was home and felt safe.

It is easy to see where others have made mistakes even when you can't see the ones in your own life. Maybe I am too much work. I know sometimes I am too much work for myself. But that is my own business.

The depression has lifted.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why is my mind trying to kill me?

I am not sure why but since I got home I have felt pretty depressed. I was happy to leave the dysfunction of my sister's life and felt really good driving home but once I arrived I became really sad.

I spent yesterday doing chores and then went out with a friend for dinner. Today has been a struggle to stay positive about anything. The thoughts that were streaming through my head had to do with how I got here in my life.

This thought is a trap for me because I do blame myself sometimes for where I am. On my best days I can brush off those blaming thoughts but other times they take me down. Today I kept moving and didn't crawl back into bed like I wanted to.

The thoughts were still there telling me that this is how I am going to feel forever, so what's the point in living. This feels real bad and isn't rational. When I get into this place it scares me and I am not sure what to do.

Today I finished doing some things around the house. I got dressed and headed out. I ended up at the movies and saw The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. It was violent but really well done and distracted my mind long enough to get me back on track.

On my way home from the movie I thought about what Eckert Tolle said about the ego and its only job being to keep you from being at peace. Why does my mind want to kill me? It isn't rational the ego mind and doesn't care that if I go it goes with me.

I get mad that I feel helpless on days like today and mad that I can't do anything about it. Will I be like this forever? Will I ever feel like myself again? The reality is my life is pretty good. But depression isn't about facts.

I have a lot of faith and know that this too will pass. One day, hopefully soon, my life will make sense to me. Everything will be revealed or maybe not.

Depression isn't something that is logical and you can't really talk yourself through it. You can say to yourself that it isn't real and it isn't permanent.

I will be with friends for the New Year. We are going to ashram for 24 hours. Cut off from the usual celebrations. Singing, meditation and yoga will be on the schedule. Yummy vegetarian food will be eaten and that should help my holiday expanding waistline.

Happy New Year. I will be glad to see this year go.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Flying by the seat of my pants - letting go

I decided to take baby steps this Christmas. First I went out to visit my cousins house, for the day, where my aunt is staying for the holidays. It is an hour north and I figured I could stall for one more day the decision on whether to head to my sisters.

My aunt has been great to me and really has made me feel welcome. While we were visiting the men saw my tire was flat and promptly removed it from my car and took it up to tire store and got it fix. It is weird to have people someone look after me.

It was a nice day and on the trip home I felt I was up to heading ever further north.

So I made the choice to do something different this year and be with my birth family instead of my program family. Saturday I hopped in my car and drove north to my sisters without expectations.

I listened to Eckhart Tolle's a New Earth on the way up. It helped me to see how the fear comes from my own ego. Taking me back to my story. The story of my childhood and my fear on not belonging anywhere. Learning to be comfortable not knowing where I belong. Really living without a label or an identity. Can I do that? Can I live without a label?

With every label comes expectation. I am the little sister and I have to carry all the memories that go along with that or do I? They are my stories from my perspect and the details are sckewed by my emotions at the time and since then. My baggage. All my insecurities relived over and over in my own mind.

I got to thinking what if I brought nothing to the table. What if I acted like this was my first visit and didn't try to read anything into the words being said. Left my baggage at home. Untainted by the past. Could I do this? I could try.

When I put my ego aside and refuse to let fear make the choices for me I can feel free. I can let the past go and live in the moment.

So I am with my family of origin for the first time in twenty years. It feels pretty good.

Today my sister, my niece and I cooked all day. It felt good to be somewhere different and not a bit weird. These are my people. I didn't feel like I had to give my opinion or do things my way. I put my ego aside and let things flow.

At the end of the day we got a call from a young couple they know. They wanted to stop by with their kids. I laughed as my whole family turned the house upside down looking for things to turn into gifts. A little re gifting here and there.

My sisters ability to fly by the seat of her pants never ceases to amaze me. In the past this would have made me nuts and I would have sat in judgement. I have changed and can see it doesn't really matter. Live and let live.

I did a little of my own flying today when I made dressing of a combination of odd things from the pantry and a few stalks of celery from neighbor. It was was a success.

I have had too much bannana pudding and feeling like santa himself. I am hoping he brought you the perfect gift like he did for me this year. My family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stockings - Lower my expectations

It can be hard to face what is especially this time of year. I sat on the couch last night and watched a friend of mine prepare stocking bags for her grown kids. The Christmas tree was lit and there was tons of presents under the tree.

I thought about a time when I put all my heart into the holidays. It seems so far away now and I couldn't help but ask myself, how did I get here?

I recalled a Christmas when I actually bought my ex something really special. A piece of art that we saw in a public place on our weekly bike rides. I hunted down the artist and had another made. It was the only Christmas moment I could remember after 13 years. When I was packing the house up it was the only specific thing mentioned that I could not take. I guess it did mean something.

I wish sometimes I could go back to the days when I was more unconscious and I celebrated the holidays with abandonment. The truth is most days I wouldn't go back for any amount of money because it was mostly just a cover for the pain I was feeling.

Now sometimes I feel I have lost my place in this world. I am not sure what my purpose here is anymore.

I don't feel a part of anything. I am going to see my family for a few days. The family I lost a long time ago. I don't know whether they really want me to come or not and part of me thinks I might be happier staying home. I am trying to do something different and trying to reach out but maybe it is too late.

I have made choices in my life that have led me to where I am today. It has taken me a life time to see my part in everything. I am grateful that I am not blaming others for my choices anymore and not waiting for others to make the first move.

I didn't mean for this to be a downer post because it isn't how I feel. I am just unsure of where I am going at a time when everyone seems to have a place to go.

I have places to go and I will act as if I belong when I get there. No one but you knows I don't feel as if I don't. Maybe everyone feels this way or maybe it is just a familiar place for me. The outside.

I don't take all these feelings too seriously but I can't help but but analyze them. I know they will pass and if I would just lower my expectations I would be happier.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Man selling his shoes - A way out - Moses

The showroom is in a rather depressed area of town. 40 years ago it was the up and coming area but now it is more industrial and backs up to a large neighborhood.

We have a lot of foot traffic and often have people come by sometimes for hand outs and sometimes for odd jobs. I have never been afraid. Once a guy came in with a staff like Moses and our receptionist quit the next day.

Today a guy came in selling his shoes. He had a big Target bag and said they were pretty nice. He said no one will let him work and that he needed the money. I said I understood but couldn't help him.

He looked a little glazed over and I did feel sad for him but I didn't give him money. I have on occasion given out a few bucks. I am never sure what to do and whether if I give him money will he come back again. This has also happened.

I am alone here today and was expecting a customer when I went to the front. I made a quick decision and decided not to help.

It is easy to dismiss those in need and think drugs and alcohol but as we all know the need starts before the abuse. Some pain so great that escape seems the only answer.

I didn't have an easy childhood but it was easier than a lot of people had. It has taken me quite sometime to get over the past so I can imagine if you had it real bad the odds of getting over it are against you.

I found my own miracle in the program and I have seen miracles happen to others. It saved my life taught me how to unravel my distorted thinking. It made me realize that everything I thought was true was just my own perspective. If I was open to changing my perspective the possibilities were endless.

I had inadvertently labeled myself as broken and unfix able. Everything bad happened to me. This trapped me in my own story of sadness and abuse. I learned I could start over every day and prove that story wrong. I could change my words and eventually change my mind.

I still have problems but I don't accept them as just my lot in life. Everything is temporary and this too shall pass. I don't have to look for someone to blame or even turn that blame on myself. I can take responsibility when it is mine and let the rest go.

I am freer than I have ever been and wish for everyone to find what I have found. A power greater than myself.

Picture by Me

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Does it matter if I am ready?

I get the feeling everything is changing around me. Am I ready? Does it matter it is coming either way.

I get this feeling I am preparing for the next level in my life. The break through and breakdown over work made me see how easily I get stuck in my own thinking. My mind or ego goes beserk when I can control what is happening around me.

I went to my first real party last night in four years. I say real because there were strangers and mingling. The woman hosting the party lived on the same street I did in my previous life. Her relationship ended after thirteen years and she has a new apartment and a new life to rebuild. She has just started to put her life back together. Seeing her made me grateful to be further along in getting my life back together.

I remember the first months in my new house having my friends over every weekend filling every minute of my life so I could put off the inevitible wave of grief heading my way. It didn't work I had to go through not around.

Luckily not everyone has to takes as long as I do to get over things. She told me I thought it was forever. I said so did I. She said she was a relationship person and I said some am I. She said I hope to have another relationship one day and I said so do I.

That was two people at the same place in their lives summing up the whole heart break and hope of the situation in as few words as possible. We understood each other so clearly in that moment. Surrounded by loud happy couples but alone at the same time.

I don't know what the future holds for me. I know I am going to make it now even if I don't have someone to share my life with. It feels good to stand on my own again. I am not afraid anymore and that is the greatest Christmas present I can get.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I quit - God no longer needs my assistance

My horoscope today said I am at the end of my rope and I should act quickly before it is too late. I should face my fears and not retreat to my usual mode for comforting myself.

I took that as not to blog which is my normal escape. I guess I am not listening. I have come to the end of my rope, this part is true, I have seen the light and feel I must make some changes.

This year for me has been emotionally and financially draining. I was glad that I wasn't awake for most of it but now that I am I can't continue to deny what is before me. I knew I had been just surviving but when I looked at the numbers yesterday it all came to a head.

In my life I have always stayed until the bitter end. I am loyal to a fault and the last one bailing out the water in the bottom of the boat with a paper cup. It feels unnatural to do anything different. I have been abandoned many times so I don't want to do that to someone else.

Two things come to mind first that I am stubborn and giving up has not been an option. The second thing is that I don't really know how to truly put myself first. Even if everyone else is doing just that. I would rather suffer myself instead letting other people suffer. I think I am stronger I can handle it better, I have found that isn't really true.

That sounds like my ego talking, saying I am stronger. Maybe I am keeping someone from standing on their own and learning only what life lessons can teach you. Isn't that where I have gained the most growth myself?

Either you have faith in a power greater than yourself or you don't. Either you believe everything is in perfect order or you don't. You can't decide that god needs your help and let go at the same time. I have heard that you need to do the foot work, really? Is that true? It is a trap for me I can use that to justify just about anything I am doing. Does God really need my help?

Where is this all going? Well I am going to have to find a mortgage job. I year ago the thought of that made me cringe, but I am not the person I was a year ago. I don't feel so desperate to hang on to really any part of my life's dream.

I don't think that in order to be happy something specific has to happen. I can just surrender and let god take me where he wants me to go. This time I don't have to be responsible for everything, just my small part. I don't have to be the savior or the glue that holds this boat together. I am letting go.

I went to a friends house last night and just let my emotions go. The tears just flowed and I didn't try to control myself. They were not tears of sadness but tears of freedom. I can see that this is growth I can let go and be open to the endless possibilities instead of thinking my way is the only way.

I talked to my partner this morning and told her I was looking for a night time mortgage job. I found a few with hours from 5-10 M-F. This would give me time to transition out of the business or help build a new business. I could still work Saturdays if I wanted.

I think my unconscious self is really running the show and if I am honest the idea of being free excites me. Customers these days are demanding and are always trying to get your expertise without paying for it. It is human nature to try to get something for nothing and I don't take it personally. They don't have to get it from me anymore. I also want some relief from feeling so desperate to close every job and to keep things going. I have felt alone in my effort.

Send me your thoughts and send me your prayers, if you pray. I feel good today. I feel calm and in good hands.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Family Fun

I am driving to Atlanta tomorrow for a family Christmas dinner on my dad's side. I have been invited over the years but never went because I couldn't face the situation with my dad. Ironically now that he is gone I am attending for the first time.

In the past I didn't feel I could act like everything was just great and besides my step-mother was always their too. Too much to deal with and not really worth it. She might be there this time but now that I have found my adult self I can handle it.

She is really the final frontier for me. She was a mean an insecure person and her own daughters have issues with her. She planted some bad seeds in me about my looks and I can't imagine what it would be like to have her as your real mother.

Letting go of veiwing life from a child's perspective has freed me. I don't feel anyone owes me anything anymore. My happiness is my own responsibility. The child in me will only be used for playing from now on. No more longing for acknowledgement or waiting for someone to decide if I am worthy of love.

The void in me is gone for the most part, I never thought that was possible. I realize now that I will never get what that child wanted because the time has passed for that. I didn't get it because the people I wanted it from weren't capable of giving to me. My longing for it has held back. I have repeated it over and over with different relationships with the same results.

I have replaced that longing with love for myself. I have become that encouraging praising parent that I needed all those years. I am kind to that child within me and refrain from constantly criticizing myself like I did in the past. This has slowly helped me heal some pretty deep scars and I have moved on.

I stayed stuck because I couldn't see that I didn't need their approval I needed my own approval. Somewhere deep inside I didn't think I was worth loving. I had to earn love and I did, but it never lasted. When it was gone I blamed myself and knew there was something wrong with me. I was unlovable.

So I am a new person going to spend time with my long lost family. They have been there all the time I just felt more comfortable on the outside. I am sure it will be fun and the food will be good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Frogs and Maturity

I took two full days off in a row. I made myself unavailable only missed one crisis and that I have resolved already today. I feel better physically and spiritually.

Yesterday I chose to stay in the house because I have a guy tiling my upstairs bathroom. I am replacing the vanity and the floor. I decided to splurge and get this done because I want to get a roommate. The bathroom was carpeted. Yuck.

This is a daunting thought,getting a roommate, because I am an introvert but we will have to see what happens and who shows up. I think I can handle the right person. We shall see.

I painted two pictures of frogs yesterday for my neighbors kids. I have one to go. They are really colorful and funny. They will love it and I promise to post them before I give them away.

After my second trip to Lowes yesterday I decided to head to the movies. It was around 5:00 and I had no idea what was showing. I got a ticket for J Edgar and on my way to the theater I saw that Midnight in Paris was showing. I decided to change my mind. I had the theater to myself a private viewing and it was fabulous.

It was a great thought provoking movie. He is unsatisfied with his current life and has the opportunity to visit what he thinks would be the perfect time period to live in. Life is never completely satisfying no matter what time period you live in.

This was the weekend theme a clear message for me I got this several times. No matter who you are it is human nature to get stuck in a rut. I realize now when I am in crisis mode I don't have time to become dissatisfied I am just trying to stay a float.

What to do when there is no crisis to attend to. I think I try to create one not consciously but un-consciously. Maybe something small to give me some sense of urgency. I was thinking this might be more prevalent in creative people.

Since I have realized I have spent most my life thinking like a child. Waiting for other people to magically care about what I care about, which is always me. I want to do something different with the rest of my life. I don't want to stay in this waiting and wanting place forever. Constantly looking for answers. I need to find what gives me joy.

My spiritual search and program led me to peace but I want more. I want joy. I don't want to just be grateful that nothing bad is happening. It is good, after a crisis passes, to rest and restore but I don't want to fill that space with another crisis or bad relationship. I want to fill it with something I want, so I better find something quick.

First step, I joined a meetup group for artists and went to my first event Saturday. We turned trash to treasures. I turned an old lampshade into a cool new lampshade. It was joyful and lots of laughter and we were all playing. It was spiritual but in a way that didn't require any thought on my part whatsoever. Yeah!

Can I be mature and accept that life is just life and it will never measure up to the imaginary life in my head? Can I be mature and look for ways to keep things interesting for myself? Can I see that creating a crisis is just a way of entertaining myself and ultimately hurts me?

Feeling free and looking forward to finding joy after peace.

Picture from

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fourth Step - Taking care of health

Things are a little crazy here and I managed to get sick. This is an old response to stress for me. I have to ask myself was it the sadness of the season or the fact that I never feel free to not think about work or both.

Since I have been in the program I rarely get sick. I learned it was ok to put myself first. Take care of my needs ahead of another. This is real maturity. In the fourth step Blue Print for Progress one of the questions is whether you go to the doctor or dentist for regular check ups. At the time I didn't do that I just kept pushing myself until I was so sick I could not function. I turns into an emergency.

My theory is that you don't really feel like you can take the time to take care of yourself. Especially when other people are counting on you. Your overbooked but you just keep pushing. Your body decides hey I need a break and takes you down.

You finally let yourself off the hook. You have no choice you have gone too far. It also evokes the sympathy of those around you and they cut you some slack. Pleasing others is a top priority for me in my business and I feel terrible if I can't do all that I promised.

I need a break more than just a day at a time. I don't really feel I can do that right now but I am getting to the point that I will have be ok no matter if I lose customers or not. I am not effective working like this and my creative juices are dried up.

Let go and let God a simple phrase that isn't so simple to follow.

Picture from