Thursday, August 30, 2012

Laying on the ground - A moment of clarity

I was discussing recovery with a friend today.  She is in counseling and it getting pretty tough. She said sometimes she wishes she hadn't opened that box and let the truth out. But it is too late now and the feelings that surround how she got where she is today have to be dealt with.

Why do some people decide to do the work and some don't.   It may seem sometimes we really don't get a choice life gets so bad that you get broken open.  You're laying there on the ground and you think "How did this happen?" At that moment you have total clarity your like sucks and you are ready to make a change but how may times does that moment pass and  you go back to your life even if it does suck. You join all the people doing the same thing.

Sometimes you bump along a few more years or a few more decades accepting the unacceptable being miserable and something worse happens and you get another opportunity and yet again a another moment of clarity. A decision is finally made to do the work. To see life as it really is and not how you pretend to be. You been waiting forever for a miracle to come along fix everything but it hasn't happen. So you take the plunge admit your powerlessness and open that box.

My friend is right there is no going back. Being accountable for your own life your own decision getting to the truth about yourself is both freeing and exhausting. No one to blame realizing I got myself into this mess and knowing it won't be easy to myself out isn't a walk in the park.

I didn't think anything or anyone could help me or change the pain I felt inside. I thought everyone was stuck with their lot in life and there was nothing you could do about. I am happy to report I was wrong.

The 12 steps saved my life.  Of course I have to give myself credit for being willing to be saved from my life.
I am worth the work and even now I find myself occasionally on the ground but so far I have chosen to continue to do the work even if I have to lay there for awhile first.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Roll Roll Roll Your Boat - The easy way

I had a dream this morning that included my ex-husband. We were living together at our age now and evidently I was hiding someone in my room. When I awoke I felt comforted seeing him and that things were working between us if I disregard the person hiding in my room.

I have the big 50 th birthday coming up in the next couple of weeks and my unconscious and conscious mind is reviewing the past. Life is mostly about dreams some that come true and some that do not and we never know how things might have worked out differently. If we got what we dreamed maybe things would have been worse but in our mind we think it would have been better than what we have.

I am settling in with the idea of the mid - century number and what that means for me personally.  My long time friends from the program who I abandoned not too long ago are pulling together a celebration. I didn't really have any expectations.

I have finally gotten over the fact that my life didn't turn out like I expected. I guess this is true for everyone does and how boring would that be anyway. I feel pretty good most of the time but I do get bored with the everyday grind and then going home to an empty house. This will not always be the case because nothing stays the same.

I have booked a trip to Salt Lake to see a friend at the end of September as my gift to myself. We will doing a lot of hiking and I know I will be cold. I never been there and I definitely could use a change of scenery.

A friend told me that life is like the song " roll, roll, roll your boat gently down the stream" not paddling madly up the stream. Not a lot work floating down stream. Why do I have to make everything so hard?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I am worthy? - 240 sick days

I had lunch today with a friend from the program and was suppose to have dinner with another friend tonight but  when she called it seemed like things were getting complicated on her end so I suggested rescheduling.

I felt instant relief when she agreed. I am more in tune with myself these days and when I have too much conversation in one day I feel worn out.  I use to think if I didn't say yes to every request I was being unkind and selfish.  I don't like to disappoint people.

The program taught me to take care of myself.  The original version of Blueprint for Progress an Al-Anon 4th step book has some pretty strange questions in it about self care. It ask questions like When was the last time you went to the doctor or dentist?  How weird a thought but I wasn't doing either.

We don't know how to take care of ourselves. Especially when we are dealing with people in our lives that create drama. Living with active addiction the other persons needs come first and let's face it we get a little thrill out of putting out fires and being the hero.  But it does take a toll on you spiritually and physically after awhile.

Before the program I was a martyr in just about every area of my life. At work I just kept going never a day off. I  worked when I was sick and looked at those people that actually stayed home when they  are sick with scorn.  I thought I was better  more dedicated than they were a real trooper. When I lost my job in corporate America I had 240 sick days and I lost them all. I showed them.

It is crazy how we abuse ourselves until some major crisis slaps us down to get our attention. Our bodies and spirits say " hey your killing me". I remember one time working sick for so long and finally going to the doctor and they wanted to put me in the hospital. I refused because I couldn't miss work.

It isn't because we are so dedicated to others it is because we aren't worthy of love if we aren't contributing. If  I can make you happy you will love me more and I will be worthy of your love.

It is a great big hole that has to be filled. It is one that is never filled by someone else's praises and accolades and even if I save the world I will still feel like it isn't enough.  I have found this behavior also attracts people that need things done for them. It not intentional it is just a perfect match. I do things and you need things done. That is pretty simple.

Being busy in service to others, even when they didn't ask, keeps us from looking at what is in that hole. A crisis forces you to look down in that dark hole and face it.

What is so scary? What is the darkest thoughts I have about myself? For me personally it is that " I am not enough" and the every failed relationship or rejection of any kind is proof of that. This is what I saw when I took that big flashlight and shined in down in that hole.

Over the years I learned a lot and was a good student of the steps. I learned how to treat myself better but I still felt something was missing. I still had this core belief that I had to be worthy of love and I couldn't figure out what made me worthy. I tried everything I thought would make me worthy and it didn't work.

What I finally realized that real love is unconditional. It isn't worth. We are all equally valuable whether we save the world or sleep on the sidewalks. That is true love without judgement.

I have started first by giving unconditional love to myself. Love your neighbor as yourself. If I can love myself I can begin to truly love those that cross my path.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peace - Putting my life in order

I seem to be in a place of release these days. Content to just focus on the moment and not worry about how things will work out. 

It has been a long journey getting to this place of surrender but it feels more comfortable than the alternative which is projecting all kinds of dooms day scenarios for my life. Things do work out for me when I stay in the moment I get special favors from the universe.

I was telling a friend about letting go and she said all the spiritual stuff is great but you don't want to end up a bag lady. Letting go and letting God takes courage in my mind. When I look a the alternative and I realize my best thinking got me to some crazy places so why not take a leap of faith. 

If you believe in God or something greater than yourself then why not let go. What is the point of believing in something greater than yourself and not letting that belief actually take control and help you out each day. Either you believe someone is looking out for you or not. Right?

I am not saying I can do this all the time but when I really do make a conscious effort to keep my mind from distracting me from the moment I have nothing but peace. Things get done problems get resolved without my help. 

If I see everything in my path as obstacle to overcome  and can get up in the morning ready for a fight or I can expect things to work themselves out.  If I expect a fight I usually get one. The day spirals out of control and I become scared and depressed.  My mind says hey you must be crazy if your not worried about this or that you better protect yourself they are just trying to use you. 

Last night I felt anxious and even the noise of the TV was bothering me. I turned it off and in silence I did a few chores. I have been carefully examining and cleaning everything in my house.    Putting my life in order preparing for whatever is coming my way and it is all good. 

I am happy to be in this place of peace. Every time I find it again I realize the journey getting here has been worth it. Circling around every time in a little higher place. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Paying Attention - Movies and more

I am having some serious problems with this blog. Nothing seems to be working. Maybe it is a sign but one I am will to ignore for today. The spell check isn't working either and it won't let me cut and paste so this could be interesting.

I have be in a slump the past few days. I can't really put my finger on it. It seems I am hitting obstacles with most of my customers. Can't get the final commitment it makes me nervous. It is all part of the business of sales and the emotional process of a big purchase.

With the business side of my life kind of leveling out I have had the energy to look at some of the last skeletons in my closet.

A week ago the Melissa Etheridge song "Letting Go" started playing in my head. I saw her on a late night show night before last. Then yesterday one of the self help blogs sent me a link to a movie with the titled "Letting Go" I am seeing this as the universe trying to tell me something.

The movie Letting Go was really a self help guru selling his method cure for life. It is a technique I am familiar with. Practicing not resisting emotions and letting them surface without judgement. I find that if I stop what I am doing I actually notice I am holding my breath.

The scary part about letting go for me is it doesn't leave much behind. Living in the moment is like floating around with nothing tethering you to anything. If your mind has nothing to focus on it tries to bring up the past. That is all it has is the past. Mistakes are especially interesting to squirrel about because there is no solution to past mistakes. How ironic that we use up so much energy repeating the same sad episode in our head over and over.

My mind gets particularly agitated when I actually do let go and uses another tactic the future it says " YOU should be worried, what if you don't get that job or any job ever again, what if you don't ever meet someone again and you die alone and nobody finds you for weeks." This of course is another

When I am balanced spiritually I can see how crazy these messages are and don't let them take me down. Other times when I am thinking of the past and the mistakes I feel I have made that brought me here I listen carefully to every negative word in my head.

I don't understand why sometimes I am so vulnerable to the voices. The truth this time is that I am looking at the mistakes I have made without the veil of grief and depression. I am older and wiser after my walk through the desert and I can see clearly my shortcomings.

I can see how in my last relationship I was lost in my head a lot. Just like I am now. I feel bad that I wasn't paying attention to the grand canyon that had come between us that last few years.

I went to see the movie Hope Spring Eternal it might have triggered some of my guilt about being in my own world. I don't blame myself totally there is two people in a relationship I am just saying the amount of time I spent in my head didn't help.

Life happens and you do your best even if you find out later it wasn't that great. All you can do is move forward and start over with more information.

I am glad I was able to write today and find the source of this emotional bump in the road.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Saggy Baggy Pants - Changing my own behavior

I was at a friends house last night and the topic of young men wearing loose pants came up. This really seems to bother people. I thought it was funny because I went to a meeting on Monday and the same topic was brought up. Why does this really get to people?

Why is it we give so much attention to what other people are doing? I know for myself really the only hope of changing someone else's behavior is to first change my reation to it.

I remember when I first got into the program. I didn't know that changing my own behavior could or would actually change someone else's. Of course that isn't as easy as it sounds but it is a heck of a lot easier than changing someone elses behavior.

I remember testing the therory with my ex-husband. I was terrified. After we split he use to call me at work when he needed consoling. I was his emotional back-up plan. He would get the fix he needed, me on a string, and then I would be a emotional basket case the rest of the day. One day I decided to just tell him not to call me at work. This seems so simple but I was emeshed in the web of be addicted to the addicted.

I didn't want the divorce. I didn't want him to leave me and be with someone else. I thought these calls meant he was changing his mind. They were him taking care of his needs and me reading way too into it and not taking care of mine.

He didn't stop right away it took a few times of me holding firm in my request. He said he still loved me and of course he still did. When he said this I would say if you still love me then you will understand that these calls aren't good for me and will stop calling.

This was one of the first ways I started taking my power back. I wasn't being kind when I took those calls I was digging my nails into something I knew was slipping away. But the hope of his return was really killing me spiritually. I was used up and the disease had taken a not so healthy person to begin with and magnified all those insecurities ten fold.

Standing my ground was the first step towards recovering my own sense of worth. I had been brain washed into believing that his needs were my needs. We were the same person.

It was the start of a miracle in my own life. I was a separate person and entitled to make decisions independantly of anyone else. The responsibility totally terrified me but it was also freeing. It is a big job sorting out what is really you and what is someone else's label.

It is hard to live with no one to blame for your woes. I can't say that I haven't fallen back into the trap of blaming someone for my plight. But it doesn't feel right anymore. Even with this last breakup I was angry I wanted to feel self-righteous and some days I did but for the most part I couldn't sustain it for long.

It doesn't have to be anyone's fault it is just life. Life that didn't meet my expectations. No matter how much kicking and screaming I did it didn't change a thing.

My acceptance took a long time. The death of dream is a big deal. Whether that is a relationship or anything you believed would happen. The good news is once your over it life can actually be better. It is the holding on that makes it painful.

Everyone has their process and it takes as long as it takes.

I am not sure how I drifted back to acceptance and grief but it is the point. You can take your life back no matter how lost you might feel it belongs to you and you can make a choice to stop reacting to the behaviors of others. It isn't easy when things go wrong you have no one to blame but yourself.

As far as the loose pants. I guess if everyone would stop being so interested in saggy baggy pants then those guys would most likely try something else to draw attention to themselves.