Tuesday, October 25, 2011
When I first read that sometimes we exult in some of our character defects really loving them I just couldn't believe it. I mean who would love to be controlling, angry, jealous, and prideful? Well...apparently me. When I think about this it really makes me a bit sick on the inside.
I want to be different. It is hard to explain that how it is that I want to be different, but find it almost impossible to change. And it seems the harder I seem to work at it the worse it gets. The more I struggle against my shortcomings the worse they seem to get. At least that is the way it seems.
HOWEVER, it was suggested to me last night after a couple of days of really exulting in these few character defects that MAYBE just MAYBE the action that is needed here has to do with just NOT doing them. UNDER.ANY.CIRCUMSTANCES. UMMM....okay.
So as I was thinking about this suggestion I had some intuitive thoughts. Well...thoughts anyway. The first was that is fing hard. I MEAN really hard....I feel pretty sure that it would take a lot of work for this to happen. The second thought that came to my mind was a little more productive and probably the intuitive kind. This sounds ALOT like being powerless and my life being unmanageable. This suggestion sounds a lot like what I was told to do when I first came in the program with alcohol. DO NOT DRINK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES...even if your ass is going to fall off.
I remember the humility that I had to have in order to take this step 100%. It was a humility that was born out of repeated humiliations and a sincere desire to do something different. I think maybe I need to go back to this in order to take the action mentioned above. I have to admit that I am powerless over my character defects. I am powerless over the change or removal of these things. Once I can admit complete and total defeat as I did with the compulsion to drink then maybe I can practice some humility without humiliation with these shortcomings.
So today I am admitting that I am powerless over these shortcomings. I am powerless in changing my controlling behavior. I am powerless over my anger. I am powerless over my jealousy, and my pride.
I am coming to believe that a power greater than me can restore me to sanity with regards to my drinking. Now I think that I need to transfer this belief to my shortcomings. I believe that a power greater than me can restore me to sanity, or in my case maybe actually give me some.
Now I need to make a decision to turn this stuff over to God as I understand Him, OR....humbly ask him to remove my shortcomings.
This is my understanding today. One day at a time I am walking through recovery. Tomorrow might be different, but all I really have is today and I have walked further down the road than yesterday. That's a little bit of progress.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
When I was hiking I got some time to think and just be quiet as well. The mountain that we climbed was fairly remote so it was very peaceful. As we climbed I reflected on some things I have been dealing with lately. I am working on my defects of character right now and they seem to be presenting themselves to me in lots of interesting ways. I pray for their removal every day, and I pray to be entirely ready to have them removed as well. This is really the hard part for me. I am not sure that I am entirely ready for some of them to be removed. This fact seems so weird to me. I mean doesn't everyone want those aspects of themselves that cause them so much grief and heartache to be removed?
I mean on some level yes I do want them all removed, but when I get honest with myself I have to admit that maybe I am not ENTIRELY ready to have all of them removed because I do still really love some of them and they serve a purpose for me. Take for example procrastination, or sloth in five syllables. Am I really ready to take care of everything at the exact moment it needs to be taken care of? Am I really willing to give up that feeling of being overwhelmed that causes people to feel bad for me? Am I really willing to let go of my alter ego that takes over when I am stressed out and overwhelmed who is not very nice to other people at all? Am I really willing to let people help me when they can and ACTUALLY ask for their help in situations that I really need to? Hmmm....I am not so sure. And this is just one of my lesser defects of character. UGH!
So anyway....back to my reflections when I was hiking. I was having a hard time keeping up when we were climbing some rocks. I was trying to keep up with someone who is at least a foot taller than me and he was just stepping from one rock to the other and seeming to have no real problem. I wanted to be the same. I wanted to step from one rock to the other with ease, but alas, I was having a good degree of difficulty doing that. The realization that I did have hands came to me. I did have some hands that could help me if I would use them. I also had a full range of body motion that would help me climb as well. I didn't have to stay upright if my legs just weren't long enough to do that. I could use all the tools that I had been given to actually climb the rocks and eventually the mountain.
This brought me to thinking about my life in general. I have been given lots of tools to put in my toolbox for recovery, which touches every aspect of my life, that I don't use. They are there just waiting for me to pick them up and use them and some of them I don't even have to pick up, like my hands, that I just have to use.
Anyway, I hadn't written for a long while and thought I would share where I am today.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
These days I am not much better. I am accepting a little more each day, but I am still a long way off from where I accept all situations as how they should be right then. I still struggle with gaining, keeping, and releasing control of stuff. I know that this idea of control is all just a big fat lie. A lie that the committee in my head has told me for years that I need, and that its obtainable. However, I still cling to this lie as if it were the life preserver keeping me alive. If I could just control everyone around me and get them to do what I want then life would be grand. So I just set about making my life about controlling others. I don't know when I made a conscious effort or decision to do this. I believe that I was probably very young. I can give you all sort of reasons and excuses as to why I am this way, but when it comes right down to it they do not matter at all. The truth is that I cannot gain control because it is not mine to have. That is a tough one to swallow. Control of people, places, and things is not mine to have, that control belongs to God, and I am not Him.
Ouch. That stings quite a bit more than I thought it was going to this morning. So as I go about my day today I am going to accept a little more of the people, places, and things that are living and working around me. I am going to accept God's will and not mine be done in a few more situations throughout my day. I am going to allow love to come in and touch me today and maybe just maybe some of it will flow out and touch someone else.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Grudges that are associated with this anger and righteous indignation have become sort of like my currency. If you made me angry, and it really is just a matter of time before you do, I hold a grudge until such time that I feel like you are worthy of me letting it go. This grudge was your payment for pissing me off. The "gracious" act of letting go of the grudge is like a little debt that you owe me the next time I accidentally piss you off. You are supposed to remember how awesome I was to let go of that one grudge I had against you, and of course ignore all the other grudges I had against you for all the other shit that I was holding onto. This is such f-ed up thinking I can't even believe that I could go there. Again as I have said before how selfish am I really? Apparently I am pretty damn selfish.
Oh how my disease loves to have me dwelling in anger. I found myself dwelling in anger the last couple of days. What I am learning is that this stuff does really hurt me the most. Saying this does not mean that my anger doesn't hurt other people, and in an awful way, because it does. I have surveyed the wreckage that my anger has left behind and it is not the least bit pretty. I have continually hurt people that I genuinely love, at least the best that I know how to love them. However, in the end the anger, righteous indignation, and grudges hurt me the worst. The completely ironic thing about my anger is that I would hurt and push away the people that I wanted the closest. Then I would use that as an excuse for wallowing in self-pity, and then that self-pity would lead me to drink at you.
Definitely when I am disturbed I need to pause and think about what need I have that is not being met. I have to figure out what that little brat that is still down there is whining and screaming about now. Why is she throwing a temper tantrum?
What I have figured out about this little fit that I have been throwing is due to a decision I made to not do something. I decided that the healthiest thing for me to do was to not attend something. I based this decision on the fact that I didn't think I could keep my actions and emotions under control and it was very selfish for me to put everyone through all that. But I realized that I have been angry at someone else for "making" me make this decision. If only things were different...If only I could....If only....I am shitting in one hand and wishing in the other and I am sure you can figure out which one is filling up the fastest. The reality of all this is that I have a side of the street. My side of the street is that I MADE the decision. I didn't get to do what I wanted I chose to do the thing that was best for everyone, even myself. BUT...that little brat down deep wanted what she wanted and that was to be able to have my cake and eat it too. I wanted to make the decision and get to blame it on someone else. Well no one else is to blame, its just me. I MADE the decision and I have to find peace in the fact that I made the right decision for that circumstance.
So today I am trying to move the following thoughts to my heart....Anger is not a luxury I will ever be able to afford again. Anger will cost me my sobriety and eventually my life.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I have always wanted someone to write "The Practical Guide for Living in God's Will," and charge me ten dollars and have a Bible study to help me figure it out. If I could just get the blueprints and the rules on how to do it I would live in God's will forever. I mean who doesn't want to live in God's will forever. That's what I have been striving for all these years because everyone I know tells me that it will make life better, and He knows that my life needs to be better.
So no one has really written a practical guide as of yet, at least not one I can understand and implement. There have been many Bible studies that have touched on the subject, but what I felt like I really needed was a road map. One that showed me just how to do it because I really had no clue. I liked to pretend that I did. I tried to talk the talk but it was obvious to me that I wasn't walking the walk. I kept telling myself however that if someone would just show me how, in a way that I could comprehend I would do it. It is what I REALLY wanted after all so why wouldn't I do it.
What I have come to realize today is that living in God's will is not really what I wanted. I wanted to live in my will and consult God when it was convenient and have Him bless me with all the things that I wanted, and endorse all the decisions that I made as the right ones. A sort of grandma/Santa Claus of sorts.
I have recently been experiencing living in God's will. I am here to tell you that it is not always easy or fun, but it is the best my life has ever been. Giving up my will is at the very least a daily struggle for me. Some days it is an hourly or minute by minute struggle. I am starting to recognize when I fall out of God's will and into my own. It is hard to get back into His will when I take the reins and have gotten into mine. This is not because He makes it hard, but because I make it hard for me. All I really need to do is pause for a moment.
One thing I am trying to remember is to pause. Pause when I come into new situations throughout my day. Pause before I speak. Definitely pause before I take action. When I pause I need to take an action that will help me stay in God's will. This action for me is prayer. I have come to realize that the act of prayer is not one sided. I must talk with God and and tell him what's going on with me and ask for his help, direction, and will. I also need to listen. I must try to get quiet even if only for a moment and listen. He will place the next right thing in front of me, I only need to seek it.
Today I am getting back into God's will for my life. I am taking time to reflect on my daily reading, praying, talking, and listening to other alcoholics. I have a solution today I just need to use it to solve my spiritual problem.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I am more aware of when I am not being honest. This is not something I generally thought about or made myself aware of in the past. I never realized it before but it was really my standard operating procedure to be dishonest. I am also aware that when I am dishonest a lot of the time there really is no reason for it. If someone I care about asks me how I am doing my first response doesn't have to be "okay, good, or great". I can actually do a little personal check and see....how am I really doing? Then I can choose to be honest with that person or not. What I have found though is that when I am honest it usually works out for the best for me and the other person. So maybe honesty is the best policy after all? HMMM...
Another realization I have made is that maybe, just maybe I don't know everything. WOW...this is a hard one for me. Maybe there is a chance that if I let someone actually answer a question that I have asked instead of answering the question myself I might learn something. Or better yet I might just have a conversation with someone. Having an adult conversation with someone is a very new thing for me and I am not sure that I am doing all that well still.
Here is the last one for today. This really goes along with the previous realization, but I feel they deserve a separate paragraphs. I am not in control of anything except how I react to something, and when I am trying to control something I am in fear. Letting go of the fear of not being in control and knowing every damn thing is hard but every day I feel like I am getting a little better and the progress is what is important.
So here I sit with these realizations today. Some of the feelings that go with these are easy and some are not. No matter how difficult they are to deal with today I honestly, don't feel the need to change them with mind altering chemicals.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
People have said to me..."You are self-centered!" I have said what the hell are you talking about? I think about everyone before I think about myself. I do what everyone else needs before I do what I need. I have tried to please every damn person in my life. I have bent this way and that become this person or that person just to make you happy. How can you say I am self-centered?
Okay so upon further self-examination I have come to realize that maybe just maybe I have had it wrong or at the very least skewed my thinking to reflect what I wanted to see. I want to say right here and now that I am self-centered or at least I have been. Because here is what I have realized today. If I am not God centered, then I am self-centered.
If I am not focusing on the power that is greater than me I am only focusing on me. I am only focusing on me and what I can get out of life. EVEN if I do something nice for you and I place your needs above mine I am still being self-centered because I am doing it out of a self serving purpose. I am doing it because maybe one day, in the not so distant future, YOU will do it for me too. YOU will put my needs above yours and I will feel like you REALLY care and I will get MY needs met that way. That is complete bullshit, really.
When I force myself to look at things in this manner I realize that I have not been honest with myself or others in a very long time. So today I am focusing on finding that power greater than myself. I am going to call Him God and He will be in control. He is powerful, He is big enough for all my shit.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Outwardly I am self-effacing. I try to appear that I have humility about the good qualities about myself. If you give me a compliment I am going to discount it with my mouth, but I am going to take it in and puff my ego up. Here is the really interesting thing about this, though. I then take it in my mind after I have puffed myself up and use it to turn around and tear myself down at the exact same time. When I look at this I realize how completely ridiculous this is. Then I start to analyze. OH MY GOD do I analyze my shit all the time. Constantly analyzing. Why do I do this? Why do I do that? What can I do differently next time? Why didn't it work the last time I tried to change __________? (you fill it in because I have tried so fing hard to try and change things about myself anything you can come up with will probably fit right there.)
So why do I do this ridiculous shit all the time. It is an insane pattern that I have created and repeat all the time. HMMMMM.........there I go thinking about my shit again.
In my reading this morning and talking with another alcoholic I have come to a couple of realizations. The first and foremost is that I THINK TOO DAMN MUCH! I am always thinking about everything and I need to stop. The other is that I rely on myself to come up with all the answers since I am such a good thinker.
I realized that I have always shut God out of my life with my self-reliance. Now this is not a completely new realization. I have known I was shutting God out of my life for quite some time now. However, I have not known exactly how I was doing this and I certainly didn't know how to change it.
Today I can say that I have had this realization, AND I don't know exactly how to change it. What I have come to accept is that I am not God. I DON'T know everything and I DON'T have all the answers. I have also come to accept that MAYBE there is an answer out there. MAYBE I can shut up long enough to let someone with some experience with this shit give me some direction, if I ask for it that is. This is today and right at this moment. I also realize that I have a disease, and my self-reliance is part of my disease. So when I decide later today that I am God again maybe just maybe I will give myself a little break. Maybe I can pause and pray for direction and turn whatever it is over to God again. Progress not perfection as some wise people keep reminding me.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I am experiencing a lot of fear today. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the known. Fear that I will lose my children. Fear that I will lose anything that I think I might have. Fear that I won't be able to find a job. And on and on and on....
I could list every single fear I have but it would take me all day. Today my most prevalent fears are of losing. I am afraid of losing all the things in my life that I have held so dear for so long.
Remember that "I got it" moment that I had a few weeks ago? Well apparently I didn't really get it. I thought I knew what it meant to give it all away, but today I am experiencing a new depth to that statement.
I had my purse stolen a couple of days ago. Some of the things I did have left from my old life were in that purse. My parents had given me some money to see me through and change over my teacher certification, and the thirty minutes between my purse being stolen and when I reported it the thieves spent all of what I did have. However, the bank will be refunding the charges that I didn't make. My wedding rings were in there and a necklace that had some special significance to me. These are now gone forever. I hadn't worn my wedding rings in months, but I was going to save them for the kids if they wanted them. The necklace I had taken off because I was going to the lake and I didn't want it to get nasty. It is gone. All my identification was in the purse too. I will now have to get a new driver's license and social security card. But mostly what is gone are some of the last traces of my old life.
The conclusion that I have come to today about all this is that God knows I have to lose it all in order to rely on Him. He has got to strip it all away for me to say okay Lord I really do surrender to you because I have no other choice. He is not punishing me, I am simply being given the chance to surrender to His will. I could take the reins here and make some things happen in my will, but why? I mean really I am working on giving up my will for His so why not use this all to my advantage.
Even though I see this and I feel God working in my life I am still afraid. I want to let go with complete abandon I am just so afraid that I am paralyzed with fear.
So here is where I am right now. I am praying that God will calm the storm within me. That He take control of my life and that I can get out of the way long enough for His will to be done in my life.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
This is very difficult for me. Almost the very last thing I want for the person I hold resentments toward is good things. I hate to admit this but it is true. However, on the other end of that I want people who have resentments towards me to let them go and give me a break. This is not selfish and self-centered...RIGHT?????
Okay so today I am praying and praying and praying. It is nice to have an action to take to help me get rid of these resentments that are eating me alive on the inside. That's all I have got today. :)
Thursday, June 9, 2011
So I made a decision and made a change. I took a step out in faith, quite possibly the first real step in faith I have ever taken. I am scared to death but I feel it was the best possible choice I could have made considering the situation.
I am not going into specifics here because that is not what this blog is about. It is about where I am and how I am doing in my recovery. And I am here sober today because of the grace of God. I felt yesterday I had but three choices I could make. Choice one...drink myself into a stupor. Choice two...end my life. Or choice three....leave. I chose number three. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. My children were crying and I was crying, but in the end I put my car in drive and started driving to someplace that might actually save my life. And saving my life at the moment is THE single most important thing I can do.
In getting honest with myself I found that if I stayed where I was I was going to drink. It was just a matter of time. I could feel it like a ticking time bomb in my head. Everyday was a struggle to not drink to change my feelings about my situation. So finally I had had enough of the struggle and gave into God's will. He has brought me to this place. And I mean the place I am in spiritually. He gave me the strength which enabled me to make the change I needed to make.
This is all God. In saying that it doesn't make it easier. It doesn't make it any less uncomfortable. It doesn't make me doubt myself any less. But when I start doing these things all I need to do to make the situation better is pray. Pray, pray, pray. I have a strange peace about it all. Again with the peace. I will never get tired of telling everyone about the peace I experience on a moment to moment basis.
So for today I am living in my change. I am walking through it and holding onto my ass and staying sober. I have a lot of people who are willing to love me and help me if I only give them a chance.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I have spent so long letting anger and drinking take care of my feelings. If I could just get angry enough I wouldn't have to feel anything including the hurt I had caused others. If the anger didn't work I would just wait until things had built up enough and then go have "a drink". That one drink that seemed so harmless, just blowing off steam, always turned into so much more for me. I used to say to myself it was helping me feel and walk through the things that hurt so much in my life, but the reality of it is that it didn't ever help me at all it only caused me more problems.
I have some profound sadness today. It started yesterday at some point and built to a fever pitch last night. I got to where I just couldn't function. I had to hide and cry. I didn't handle it well. And the people that I have put on a pedestal and held to some standard that even God couldn't adhere to let me down again...SURPRISE. I don't know why I was surprised. I don't know why I continue to be surprised when I do the same things and I get the same shit back in return. REALLY????
Okay so I am giving all this to God again today. This is the way I see it right now, I am going to have to give everything to Him every day. Is everyone like this or am I unique? Well I have learned that when I start to think I am unique that I am not. That is the furthest thing from the truth. So I guess everyone has to surrender themselves to God everyday if they want His will to be done in their life.
Today I feel like I am making progress. I didn't drink last night when I really wanted to change my feelings. I walked through it. Actually, I am still walking through it, but I think it will get better. I have hope that by walking through it I can learn from it and grow and come out on the other side. I also know that He is with me and He is carrying me. I feel like I am walking but the truth of the matter is that He is carrying me because this is something that I do not have the power to do on my own. Once I give it all up each day I receive that peace that surpasses all understanding and I am able to be quiet within my soul. But as soon as I take it back I am not peaceful anymore. I am not sure how to describe how I feel, but it is definitely not peaceful.
So for today I am going to focus on giving up and letting God take it. He is big enough. He can handle it. He doesn't need my help, I need His. I know I am blessed and I know things are getting better. They are not comfortable and they are not rainbows and butterflies, but they are slowly getting better because I am slowly surrendering and feeling.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
This morning I decided to listen to a CD that I hadn't listened to in quite awhile. I had gotten a comment from my friend Nicole on FB and it made me think of the time we went to see Third Day and Switchfoot together. Then a couple of days after the concert she gave me a few CD's that she had made and one was a Third Day CD. This CD has always lifted me up, and always makes me think of her. She has had strength for me when I didn't have it for myself.
So I was listening to the CD in the car to my meeting and to work. The song I heard on the way to the meeting was talking about how all the signs and wonders would never be enough to prove to some people that Jesus was real. WOW. You know what I just might be able to identify with the message of that song...maybe just a little bit.
Then the message in my meeting this morning was that it is never enough. We work and get to a point where we are doing well then we just start to coast. Then we get back to that self-centered attitude that shuts out all the sunlight of God, and gets us irritable and we start complaining about what we don't have instead of thanking Him for what we do.
As everyone is sharing about this I am listening and reflecting on me. I so do this, in fact just yesterday I did it in a big way, but even this morning I was doing it in small little ways. Yesterday, Edward asked me why I read God's word if I didn't really want to let go and let Him take control of my life. My first response was defensive. Well I do want Him to take control and give me good things in my life. BUT only when I want Him to and HOW I want Him to do it.
Yesterday as I said is a prime example of this. I asked God to help me change my situation. That I was turning everything over to Him and His care. I wanted His will to be done. Then I found out that I didn't need to take another certification test to be certified to teach in Oklahoma, this is a blessing. Then I had a conflict with a co-worker that I was able to work through on my own and let go of, I had all but forgot it by the end of the day. Those of you who know me, know that this in and of itself HAS to be GOD, because I hold on to absolutely everything. Then I had a very peaceful day. Nothing bad, nothing extremely good, just peaceful and good. Even when I got home at first I was very peaceful. I tried to screw it up, but it wasn't that bad really.
Instead of praising and thanking God for what He had done in my life that day, I was upset because I was peaceful and reasonably happy. All the things He had done for me, and it still wasn't enough for me to be thankful. Again, how selfish and self-centered am I really?
So today, I am turning it all over to God again. I don't want to take it back from Him, but I probably will. I am thankful I have people praying for me. And I am truly thankful for everything God is doing in my life. I could never do any of this by myself.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Well that is a pretty tough question really. I can see that the current circumstances that I am dealing with started with a little thread that I began to pull. However, the rabbit hole goes way deeper than that. The little thread began to be pulled a long time ago.
In reflecting over the last twelve days I have really taken a closer look at me. Who am I? How did I get here? With help from another alcoholic I realized that I have been drinking to change my feelings since I was thirteen. Just a little here and there at first then full blown drunk at least once a week for many years. Then dry for awhile, then right back at it. This was my pattern for a long time, actually as long as I can remember.
My current circumstances are what brought me to this wall that I have hit, but it is simply one more set of circumstances that I have created to keep me sick in my disease. I have hit a brick wall. I can't get over this wall, go under it, or go through it. I will stay here until I decide to let go of my control and let God take over.
So here I am today with my life in front of me and my spiritual death behind me. My drinking has kept me dead spiritually. I have played at it for so long. Honesty is a bitch. She is there right in my face telling me the truth and I do not want to hear it, but I have to hear it or I am going to die. I am going to die completely spiritually, and physically very soon. Some symptom of alcohol will kill me. This is the honest truth. Time to face it.
So today I am admitting that I have a problem and that I am powerless over this problem and my life has become COMPLETELY unmanageable. I am not the director of this play called life. I am only a player.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
So here goes I am going to feel and if you are reading I guess you get to hear about it. Thanks for letting me feel and listening to my shit. :)
I am feeling tired...It was a really good day, but exhausting.
I am feeling agitated....I am not sure of the exact cause of the agitation except that I am tired.
I am feeling sad...I am grieving the loss of my best friend and confidant today as I have the last eleven days.
I am feeling mad....I said some things I should not have said and hurt some people I wish I hadn't, and now it can't be taken back.
I am feeling sad....I am grieving so many things that it is hard to move past this feeling.
Alright...that's not all of them but its most of the negative feelings I am feeling right now. NOW I am going to try and see if I can list as many positive feelings to go with these. This is different for me. I usually wallow but I am trying not to do that and I am moved to do this.
I am feeling humbled....I don't know everything and that is okay.
I am feeling inspired...I want to write and create something someone will read.
I am feeling proud....my kids are becoming caring people despite anything I might have tried to do.
I am feeling loved...I have two beautiful children who love me, a man that loves me, parents that love me, cousins who love me, aunts and uncles who love me, and sometimes best of all friends who love me for who I am.
I am feeling hopeful...there is something big on the horizon and I am pretty sure its not an oncoming train...I couldn't have said that eleven days ago.
I am feeling spiritual...I am getting ready to do my prayer and meditation time before I go to sleep and I know God will be there to sit with me while I surrender to Him again.
I am feeling moved...I am trying to have a real relationship with someone and he actually gets me...really gets me like no one else.
I am feeling responsible....I am keeping up with my responsibilities the best that I can.
So that is five negative emotions counteracted with eight positive emotions. Now where am I gonna choose to focus today...tonight? I am going to surrender and ask God help me to focus on those positive feelings instead of negative ones.
So today I am surrendering again. God's will...Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.
Friday, June 3, 2011
So I was feeling pretty good today. Very positive day. I woke up and went to my 7am meeting to start my day. It was a good meeting. Then I went to work and had a staff meeting to go to and that was pretty good. Nothing really big there. My 11am client no showed so I was able to go to the noon meeting. On the way to the meeting I got to talk to an old friend I hadn't talked to in at least a year. The noon meeting was good. I saw a friend I made the other night and talked with her a few minutes. Then I went back to work and finished my day at that office, and then I left to go to Bonham to see my last client of the day. I talked to Edward on my way and he had some very positive things to say to me. I got to Bonham and my client wasn't home, but I wasn't upset I just left and started my drive home. Stopped and got food and gas...gas was only 3.49 so that was quite awesome....then I got home. All the wheels came off my little happy apple cart when I walked through the door.
I know you are probably asking why? Well I will tell you that it probably has SOMETHING to do with the fact that I have A LOT of anger and resentment all tied up in this place. No one did anything or said anything to piss me off...I just got pissed off. I laid down because I was tired and I hadn't planned on going to the 6pm meeting tonight. So I thought that I would take a little nap and then I would feel better. Well I couldn't sleep at all.
I laid on my bed looking at the wall. Getting angrier and angrier as I laid there. I started praying. Of course I am praying the serenity prayer and really only for myself. I am not praying for anyone else in the house. I am being selfish and self-centered AGAIN...big surprise. So the enemy is talking to me....Why don't you just go have a drink? I mean what would it really hurt to have one drink? You deserve a drink it is Friday after all and you worked hard all week. Just one won't really hurt you. You can get that chip again tomorrow and tonight you will feel better. This will make you feel better.
I suddenly find myself in those old thought patterns that I love so much. So I got up and put my shoes on. I walked out of the house without saying a word to anyone, for fear of what would come out of my mouth. And I drove to the 6pm meeting. Not to a bar, not to the store, but to a meeting. Progress people...this is what I am talking about here. I sat in the meeting and I shared. I talked to my sponsor after the meeting and a couple of other women. Found out there is a meeting in the little town that I live in I didn't know about. STILL I am fing angry. I mean so angry I can't see straight. I want to either drink or punch someone or something. I talk to Edward again and then I start to really calm down. Okay maybe I am okay. Maybe I can handle my shit for a little while longer tonight. Maybe just maybe I can go back in my house and walk through the shit and feel the feelings. I don't want to. I think it is so damn hard. But I get out of my car and walk in.
I feel okay because I know that I didn't say anything that I would regret to anyone. I just left which was probably not the "right" thing to do, but I didn't scream at anyone or say any hurtful things to anyone. I ate my dinner, took a shower and now I am writing. Progress not perfection, right?
So here is where I am right now, this moment. I still need God, I still need AA, and I am still an alcoholic, nothing has changed with those things. But there was a little change in me. I recognized I couldn't do it by myself so I sought help. Not perfection...but lots of progress.
So I prayed and I prayed and I prayed some more. I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision because I REALLY desire to do the next right thing. I just really wasn't sure what it was.
In the midst of praying I think about maybe taking my daughter or someone else so that maybe I won't drink. When I decide that Emily might have a good time I get a peace that I just don't understand. Every time it hits me I am amazed by the whole thing.
I tell Jeannie I think this is a good idea and I tell her I can go but I can't drink. I also ask her to not drink as well. She does agree to not drink and she kept her promise. I didn't drink and it was so fun to see Emily enjoy the concert. I had so much peace the whole time that I didn't even desire to drink. That was just for one night though. I am going to keep myself out of those situations from now on....at least until I get some recovery time...I don't want to run the risk of falling.
Mostly what I am taking out of this whole situation is that God will answer me and if I am listening He will give me some kind of answer. If I ask for His will to be done then get out of the way it will be done in my life. I am not saying this is easy or that I will do it even 50% of the time, but yesterday I did, and today I am doing my best. Today I don't want to drink to numb the pain and that is all I can really ask for.
I am really grateful, and thankful for the fellowship of other alcoholics. Without it I would be lost and drinking myself into the ground. I am also thankful for the fellowship of all the people who care about me. Since I have gotten honest, people I thought didn't like me or whatever have started to give me support. I have realized that it was me who pushed all those people out of my life with my dishonesty and isolating. I am so thankful for all the support I have gotten from everyone in my life.
So today I am thankful and I have peace. Being sober is priceless. I am doing whatever I have to do to keep it.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
So today I am having to get honest with myself and ACTUALLY surrender. I don't know if I can explain it so that you fully comprehend but this is f*ckin hard. This is probably the hardest day I have had since I decided not to drink.
Back in December I bought tickets to Lady Antebellum for Jeannie for Christmas. I bought three of them so she, Chris, and I could go. The original date for the concert was in February. Well we had a blizzard in Oklahoma so the concert was rescheduled. It was rescheduled for June 2nd. Hey what is today? June 2nd.
Well, I have been trying to make a real decision about whether or not I should actually go to the concert tonight or not since Sunday. This little nagging voice in my head has been telling me that it might not be the best idea that I have come up with today. That maybe hanging out with the person I liked to go drinking with somewhere there was going to be drinking just might not be the best thing for my new found sobriety.
However this other voice which is consequently LOUDER than the other voice is telling me I GOT THIS....I won't drink...I can just have a good time....think of all the good times you will miss and everyone will be talking about how fun it is and you will be left out....you don't want to be left out do you? I mean do you????
Okay so if I get honest with myself I know who belongs to each voice....quiet...GOD....LOUD...devil/enemy. So the question is who am I going to listen to? Am I willing to trade my sobriety for a couple hours of fun? Am I willing to take that chance? hmmmm....
As easy as it seems to answer that question...the follow through is the hard part. That's where I am RIGHT NOW. I am sure there will be another post today. :)
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
So I reflected during the meeting about this feeling. I felt my blood pressure rising and I felt myself getting VERY angry. I didn't want to share because everyone was talking about how great their attitude was and how thankful they were for where they are now and I was afraid of what I might say. So I sat.
I sat until the end of the meeting and listened. I am finding that maybe if I shut up and listen more I might actually get something out of what other people are saying....what a concept, right?
At the end of the meeting I asked if I could share real quick before it was over. God had worked on my heart and given me something of some value to share.
I shared that I had the attitude that I would do anything to stay sober. Including going to three meetings yesterday, and staying for a meeting this morning that had nothing but men in it. It wasn't a men's meeting but that's all that showed up. I was very intimidated when I walked in, but I did it and they were all very nice to me and made me feel welcome, but not too welcome if you know what I mean.
So where I am today is that attitude matters. And if I could find an attitude of gratitude things would be better. And that attitude is everything. Damn those fing cliche's.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Another issue that comes with this co-dependence for me is that I feel like I will never be able to live without this person. If they left my life today I wouldn't know what to do or how to go on. And if they do decide they are walking out of my life I have to pull out all the stops. And I mean all the stops. Some of these include threatening suicide, crying, pleading, begging, screaming, yelling, and so on. It is really ridiculous when I am on this side of it. However, when I am in it there is nothing more serious and real.
I was trying to figure out how to explain it to someone else the other day and this is what I came up with. Imagine you're right handed and you find out that your right arm has gangrene and it must be cut off. There is no other way for you to live except to lose this right arm, and subsequently your hand. So your choices are either cut off the arm or die. I would probably let them cut it off, but I would keep trying to sew it back on every chance I got, and at times I would honestly feel like dying was a much better option than losing the arm/hand. Also I would be whining to everyone around me about how awful it is to lose my hand and how horrible it was that it had to happen to me. I would also be begging and pleading with the arm to sew itself back on my body and not leave me so alone because I have become so dependent on it. All the while knowing full well that the arm is diseased and can be of no use to me in a healthy way anymore.
Such are my co-dependent relationships. I get into a relationship, be it romantic or friendship, and that person becomes my everything. The sun rises and sets with this person, and if anyone tries to come between me and this person I am so angry and I am defending that relationship to the bitter end. I place expectations on this person that I never take the time to tell them about, and then expect them to live up to them. When they don't live up to my expectations I get very angry and lash out and push them away. Then when they threaten to leave I am completely baffled. I mean baffled. Why would they leave? Don't they know I love them? Don't they know they are my everything? Then the whining, begging, and pleading begin. If I convince them to stay it ends for awhile only to resume the next time. If they are very serious about leaving then I resort to anger, sometimes a little mild violence, and always manipulation to get them to stay.
The relationship is all about me. Me, me, me. I never even really bother to find out what they want out of the relationship. I feel like I am very in tune with this person and I know what they want without them even telling me. So they should be the same way with me right? Well in the end it turns out that I didn't know them any better than they knew me or I knew myself. Then the relationship is over, and then I rinse and repeat. Over and over and over again.
This pattern is slowly killing me and the people around me who love me. I say slowly, but maybe some of them are dropping like flies these days.
Here is where I am today with this. I am depressed and I want to stop, but I can't. I am powerless over this pattern. I have tried and tried and tried to stop. I know I am insane and irrational, and I know that I push people away, but how in the world do I stop? I can't seem to make myself stop just by sheer willpower.
Could the answer possibly be God? God says, worship none but me. Today I am wondering if maybe just maybe I am not putting God first. Maybe I am worshipping the people around me instead of God. Maybe these people are becoming a sort of god to me so I don't need Him while they are around.
So that is where I am today.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Now with saying this I am not wallowing in self-pity as it might seem. Actually, for once I am able to see that I am in the way and that I am the problem. It really doesn't matter what God has done for me, it is never enough. This is the way it is in all of my relationships. Since my relationship is not right with God, consequently my relationships with other people are not right.
It really doesn't matter what other people do for me I am never satisfied and it is never enough. However, the reverse, in my mind, is not true. I do everything for everyone so it should be enough and they should appreciate and they should... You fill in the blank there. Everything becomes so black and white and I am always the one who is being persecuted. How selfish and self-centered am I really? How in the world can I stand myself?
So today here is where I am. I am the problem, and God is the solution. I can't change this defect in my character because He knows that I have tried and tried really hard, some days at least. Again it comes back to having a right relationship to Him. Once I get that right He is faithful and good. He will have mercy on me and He will will fulfill His purpose for me. His purpose not mine. So again it is back to letting go. I must let go of everything and follow Him.
This is where I am today.
Friday, May 27, 2011
I am having a nice little battle with myself this morning. I really want to rebel and just do things my own way instead of letting God take care of them. It is hard to focus my thoughts on what He wants me to do and His will in my life. I am praying constantly for peace, compassion for others, and understanding. Also I am praying that His will be done in my life.
It seems that I have to give up my habits and hurts every moment of the day today. I really want to pick up where I left off a few days ago and just rage and find something to numb all the feelings that I am having. I know that this is not an option so I am just walking through it today.
I am focusing on the positive because I know that I can do all things through God who strengthens me. I know that He is there and all I have to do is let Him do it. Again I am praying that He would take it all. All my burdens, addictions, and hurts away from me.
So for today this is where I am. I am giving it all up to Him and letting Him carry the load and give me peace.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
This is definitely a ditch that I have found myself in. However, I know that God is going to help me get out of it. I know this because I have asked Him to and He is faithful and good. I keep asking Him to help me and when I do that peace that surpasses all understanding takes over and I am able to go on for a little longer in my day.
My realization is that I am an alcoholic. I didn't think that I was because I don't drink all the time and I have stopped drinking before completely, for awhile. But when things become unmanageable in my life I find myself drinking to numb the pain and sometimes I do it to "show someone else." Today I am going to a meeting. I have been going to Celebrate Recovery for awhile, but this has been for my codependency, anger, and control issues. I feel today that maybe alcoholism could be the root of all my issues.
So today I am admitting that I have a problem and that I am powerless over changing it. I am praying constantly because He says that I should rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances because this is God's will for me. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
So that's where I am today. I am rejoicing that I am able to see clearly that I do indeed have a problem. I am praying continually for God's help, guidance and peace in getting help to deal with my problem. And I am giving thanks that I have someone in my life who loves me enough to tell me the truth and help me to recognize the truth in me.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
This new road definitely has twists and turns. I sometimes find myself thrown off into a ditch next to one of the especially sharp curves. This is when it is the toughest for me to turn to God for help. The first thing on my mind is how am I going to climb up out of the ditch and get on with my life. How am I going to fix it? And if it has anything to do with someone else, how am I going to fix them?
Today when I found myself in a ditch on the side of my road I tried something new. Something that I have always said you should do, but I realize I have never really done it. I talked to God. I ask Him to help me up out of the ditch. And do you know what happened? He did!
The moment after I asked for God to help me I felt that peace that surpasses all understanding. That peace only God can give you. You can't do anything to create this kind of peace. Then I prayed for the peace to stay and comfort me. He makes me lie down in green pastures...His rod and His staff they comfort me. Praise the Lord for peace!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
There is one aspect of today that I really want to write about. I have to document this for the future. I need to give my parents more credit. Everyone struggles with a degree of control I think, but I certainly got my fair share of control issues. My parents and I haven't always gotten along or seen eye to eye. But today I asked for help.
Well they did not refuse to help. My mom listened and gave her opinion, but never tried to control me or manipulate me. This is progress for both of us. I ask my mom to do something and she did it and very close to how I really really wanted it.
So I want to say that mom, thank you for helping me, and being there when I call.
One last thing, scripture:
Have mercy on me O God have mercy on me for in you my soul takes refuge I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
I am taking refuge tonight and waiting for that disaster topass. :)
Monday, May 23, 2011
But this weekend I had a realization. I went to an amusement park for the first time in many years. I had a blast. I rode the roller coasters and a water ride, and made some wonderful memories.
When we were waiting in line for one of the rides I got really nervous. Almost irrationally nervous and the worrying began to overwhelm me. I kept telling myself it has to be safe or they wouldn't let people ride it...right? I worried how I would feel during the ride, I worried how I would feel after the ride, I worried what if I can't do it, and on and on.
Then it was our turn to ride the ride. All these bells start going off in my head...CRAP! It was really time for me to take that step and get on the ride. So I did. I put the worry aside momentarily and got on the ride. Then the ride started and I realized as everyone really does that it was not that bad. I had worried and put myself through all that stress for absolutely nothing.
Then we went to another ride and it seemed much scarier than the other ride and I went through the process all over again. You would think I had learned my lesson the last one. But I hadn't and I stressed until the moment the ride started. Then the same thing happened to me. I realized it was just fun and not that scary at all.
This is a lot like life I think. I worry and worry and worry about all the things that could happen or that I wish would happen. I occupy my mind with all these thoughts of what if. When all that is required of me is to take that step of faith and get on the ride and everything will be just fine. Worrying didn't change what the ride was like, but it did change my experience. I enjoyed myself, but I spent a lot of time worrying and distancing myself from the events of the day because of my worry.
What God wants is for me to take the step of faith, and to let him take care of the rest. So for today that is what I am doing. I am putting worry aside and taking that step knowing that no matter how scary the ride looks it is not half as bad as I have made it out to be, and just like this weekend I don't have to do it alone.
Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself, today has enough troubles of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
Friday, May 20, 2011
This morning I was driving to work, late as usual. I can't seem to make anywhere on time anymore. This used to drive me CRAZY when other people did it and it drives me CRAZY that I do it, but I can't seem to get it under control. BUT...I digress. :)
I was driving to work and I was thinking about all this stuff I have been focusing on this week and the day before me. I was thinking about how I had to let go of all the stuff that had kept me sick for so long. I was thinking about rebellion and how I really wanted to rebel and say "No it's mine I NEED it!"
Then out of the blue I had my "I get it moment". The story of the rich man talking to Jesus came to my mind. I don't remember what book it is in I think Matthew, but the message was more important to me than finding the scripture.
In the story the rich man asks Jesus, I want to follow you, what do I need to do to follow you. Jesus tells him give away everything and come follow me. The rich man says to him, everything? And Jesus knows he doesn't really want to follow Him.
So my I get it moment was when it hit me...I have to give it ALL up. All my life I have focused on this being all my worldly possessions, and I think that is always the message I have heard when it is taught in church, or at least that is what I focused on. But today I realized I must give up everything. Everything that keeps me from Him.
So for today I am giving it up. I give up all that I have held so dear for so long because I want to follow Him, serve Him, and walk with Him in faith.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The thoughts that race keep me sick. They keep me in this pattern of self-hate and self-destruction. Those thoughts feed my addiction to chaos and control. I am unable to control the urge to create chaos in order to control everyone around me all the time. When things are good I have to cause chaos I cannot stop myself no matter how hard I try.
For today I am trying to be quiet inside myself. To experience the peace that transcends all understanding that only God can produce in my life.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
However, when I am in the valley I have a very hard time finding things to be thankful for. Even the big things seem to escape me. I am called to pray without ceasing and to give thanksgiving to the Lord. This doesn't just mean when I am on the mountain top looking down on the valley, but in the depths of the valley as well. When I am in the deep dark pit of the valley it is the hardest to look up and see that God is there pulling me out of that place. And it is equally hard, if not harder to be thankful that He is there pushing and pulling me up onto the mountain.
He works for my good behind the scenes and in places when I am not even aware that He is working. I have heard this over and over so I "should" be thankful for all that He does for me. So today where I am is trying to find big and little things to be thankful for. Here is my list so far for today:
- my kids
- my recovery
- someone who loves me more than i can comprehend
- a few really good friends
- the sun and all its warmth that it brings to my life
- my roses
- my health
- beautiful trees
- my job
- food to eat
- nature and all of its beauty
- that smell my kids have when they wake up
- that moment right when the sun breaks through the clouds in the morning
- twilight right before the sun sets
- the smell of food that welcomes me home
So maybe I can go on and on. And maybe just maybe I should make this list everyday to remind me of all the things I truly have to be thankful for.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
All these things I know but doing them is a different story. I can’t ever seem to wrap my head around surrender. Everyone talks about the sweetness of surrender. They talk about how surrendering will bring peace and joy to your soul.
Surrendering has never been a part of my vocabulary. But my vocabulary does include words like rebellion, rage, self-hate, self-destruction, chaos, codependency, and anxiety. How does someone like me surrender? If I surrender I have to give up what makes me feel secure and what helps get me through the day. I have to have a hit off of what makes me high.
So how do I surrender? How do I let go of all that I have held so dear for so long? How do I get past the anxiety of things changing?
I admit that I can’t do it. I am not strong enough to make myself better. I am not strong enough to give up the addiction that has kept me high for all these years. I surrender sweetly.
This blog is going to document this new adventure. My new adventure is very spiritual. I hope that if you are reading that you will follow me down this road and see where it leads.