Love Truly

Posted: July 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’m taking advantage of a three-day weekend and going out of town so for the first time I put my doggies in a kennel. I dropped them off yesterday because my flight leaves before they’re open. I did not think of taking a blanket or a pillow for their stay so I decided I would swing by on my way to the airport to leave their pillows by the kennel’s entrance.

As luck would have it, they have a glass door and my doggies are staying only a few feet from the entrance. I tried not to get their attention but as soon as I set foot in front of the door I saw them tapping their feet and barking.

I quickly left the “crime scene” thinking that they would come down by the time I got in the car and drove off but I shouldn’t look in the glass door as I was driving away. They were still quite upset that I did not go in to get them. I felt horrible that I could not or would not want to cancel my trip to have them with me.

I made the resolution that after this trip I would take them with me wherever I go but I’m a practical person and that’s not going to be good for them or me. Then I thought that I would become a home body and never travel again but I quickly realize that’s not going to happen either as I love traveling.

These are the first pets I have ever had that are truly mine and I have learned so much from them. One of them has shown me that in order to get what you want sometimes you must make absolutely sure that you tell the person what you want. She ‘s done hat by taking no for an answer whenever she wants to get petted.

The other one has shown that if you give up at the first sign of trouble, you will never get your needs met. He’s done that by allowing his more pushy, take-no-for-an-answer sister to push him away every time she wants all the attention.

The both have taught me unconditional love. I can’t wait to pick them up when I come back from my trip.

Growth

Posted: February 21, 2016 in Acceptance
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I went to the doctor a few days ago because I thought I had a sinus infection. My doctor was running behind but I counted myself lucky that he was able to squeeze me in at the end of the work day. I got a steroid shot and some antibiotics and I felt better right away.

However, yesterday morning on my way to the gym, I took the antibiotics on an empty stomach as it is written on the bottle. I got to the gym, started working out and I felt queasy. I didn’t think I was going to make it to the bathroom so I went to the nearest trash can to throw up. There was only saliva and phlegm in my vomit but I felt sick so I went home to lie down.

I got ready to go to my regular Saturday morning meeting and drank Sprite to help with my upset stomach. I went to lunch with my sponsor and had to eat soup because my stomach was still upset. I asked a sponsee to pick me up from the place where I was getting a new tire since I had gotten a flat the day before; they were going to take a couple of hours to get the job done so I asked him to drop me off to get my nails done. My sponsee had never had a manicure or pedicure done but decided to join me anyway.

By the time we got done my car was ready and not a single whine or complain had left my mouth. In fact, I was thankful that the flat tire happened during lunch the day before and not on my way way home. And because I needed a ride, I got to spend more time with my sponsee. Old behavior would’ve dictated that I get mad at being sick and having to go to the doctor; or being angry that I threw up at the gym and had to leave; or feeling like I a burden because I had to ask for help from somebody who usually looks to me for help; or at the very least being frustrated that my Saturday routine was altered.

I’m just waiting for my shiny, gold star for good behavior.

Work

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Acceptance
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Work has been stressful lately. The person in charge is somebody who lives in fear and shames people to try to control their behavior. It got so bad that I called her supervisor and she agreed that the three of us should have a conversation.

I avoided talking to her one on one because I thought I was not going to be able to do it in a professional manner. She thought that I was afraid of her. I have prayed for her. I have talked to my sponsor, friends, psychiatrist, and anybody who would listen about her.

A coworker who I truly admire left the company because the person in charge had been bullying her for months. This person who left is no wallflower, she has years of experience in her field and decades of sobriety under her belt but she still felt she could not handle the person in charge. Another coworker of mine is really close to resigning too.

The moral is really low at work. I guess I’m having “high class” problems. I have everything I need. I enjoy my line of work and helping people. I have family and friends who love me. I am well regarded, even liked, at work.

I have allowed this person to take too much space in head. It is time for me let go of this person and let her be who she’s going to be. I am powerless over “person in charge” and my life has become unmanageable. I have come to believe that I power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. I turn my will and my life over to a power greater than myself.

I Am Enough

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Growing, Recovery
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I got my cards read a few weeks ago. I had never done it because I’m skeptical of stuff like that and not really wanting to know what the future holds, One Day At A Time, right? But I already was at this holistic event with a friend who was going to do it and I thought, what the heck!

I sat next to her and the card reader to hear the reading. My friend thought she was very accurate and then it was my turn. The card reader asked me to cut the deck of cards while thinking of the question I wanted some answers to and then she started to place the cards on the table.

She told me that as long as I keep putting other people first, I’m never going to be completely happy. As an alcoholic, I thought I had always put myself first. When I thought about it some more, I realized that I tend to morph myself into the person I think other people need me to be in order to attract them and keep them by my side.

It’s an old fear of mine, “if you only truly knew me, you wouldn’t like me.” So my tendency is to try to “read” what the person or people in front of me need and try to become that. There are a couple of problems with that though.

By transforming myself into what I thought other people needed me to be, I never allowed other people to truly know who I am. Another problem is that even though I was pretty good at “sensing” what other people needed, I was never one hundred percent accurate.

Being raised by addicts, alcoholics, and people with mental illnesses will make you believe that you have to be everything to everybody. It will also make you try to control every little thing so that you can control the outcome but it doesn’t really work; and when it does, you end up exhausted.

Recovery has allowed me to be my authentic self. It reminds me that I am powerless over pretty much everything except most times my response to a situation. I have learned that I am not responsible for other people’s behaviors and that I don’t have to “fix” or “rescue” people. I have enough working on myself.

Today, I am enough. I am loved. I am loving. I am lovable. Just as I am.

Good Bye

Posted: July 19, 2015 in Grief, Recovery
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A friend of mine will be removed from life support today. His family has decided that after 19 days he has had enough. I think that’s what he would want too, he expressed as much in some of the conversations we’ve had in the past.

My friend has been on a medically induced coma since the beginning of this month. I took him to the emergency room on a Tuesday when he missed his CT scan appointment. He had been diagnosed with lymphoma the previous Friday. I was trying to help him as much as I could until that day when I found a meth pipe in his room.

I wasn’t even looking, I was retrieving some dishes that he had not been able to take to the kitchen and there it was, the proof that he had been on active addiction. I had suspected for a while that he was using but I didn’t have proof.

So I told him that he could either go to the emergency room or to treatment but that I could not allow him to remain under those conditions anymore. He chose to go the ER and got admitted immediately where he got diagnosed with pneumonia.

I didn’t have much hope that he was going to make it out of the hospital because he had to overcome the pneumonia and then get treatment for lymphoma. All of this makes me sad. This was all preventable but he neglected his health. He thought that if he ignored what was making him ill, it would go away but it rarely does.

He was a proud person, unable to ask for help. He wanted people to come to his rescue. I told him many times that I used to be like him, wanting people to read my mind and anticipate my every need. I learned in recovery that if I want to stay sober, I can save my face or my ass but not both at the same time.

That has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. I must allow people to be of service and not rob them of that blessing. That’s how I must I think of it so that it’s easier for me to ask for help.

Today I get to go to the hospital to pay my respects to his family and say good bye to him. There by the grace of God go I…

Freedom

Posted: July 4, 2015 in freedom, Grace
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Yesterday, I met with a friend who was in treatment with me. He’s had a couple of major surgeries and his health is improving but has a hard time walking around. We drove to see another friend. She was working but she took a smoking break and came out to talk to us.

That was what we used to do. They’d get up at the crack of dawn to drink coffee, read the newspaper, and chat. Me? I would sit with them for a little while and then go wake people up to practice yoga. I had a wonderful time talking about life and our mutual friends.

Later that day, I visited the treatment facility where I was about six years ago. I saw a few familiar faces at the open meeting they have there. I introduced myself to a few people, and made new friends.

I saw my old self in the dressed up patient trying to look good for the visitors, putting on a brave face while in the meantime being scared and not even knowing it. This is the place where I learned to start speaking from the heart instead of trying to impress people with my brain. This is where I began to stop thinking that I had to be everything to everybody and that I am only responsible for my behavior. I learned to take responsibility for my actions and stop playing the victim role. And I can still do that most days.

Out of the 40 plus people that were there at the same time, I know one who has stayed sober the whole time and that’s not me. I relapsed five months after leaving treatment and got back into the rooms in March 2010. Four more are sober now but it’s hard to know where the rest of them are.

I try to come to this place once a year to remember how it was and where it can go if I stop working my program of recovery. I shared in a meeting last night that I made the decision six years ago to remain a beginner so that I would never feel like I know it all again. Knowing all was a heavy burden I carried for many years but I have remained free of that burden for over five years. I don’t have to play God anymore and for that, I am grateful.

Prayer Works

Posted: June 27, 2015 in Grief, Hope
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I came home to find a couple of friends waiting for me in their car. I parked and we went in to my place. One of them told me that the other one had been diagnosed with lymphoma. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of days and I was aghast to see how much he had aged and how much weight he had lost.

My friend with cancer could not talk. He stuttered trying to tell me how he was feeling but he was in so much shock that he could barely write his thoughts on a piece of paper.

After much struggling he said he needed to lie down for a little while. In the meantime, my other friend and I went outside so that we could talk about what the doctor had told them. It was not good. We won’t know if chemo is even an option until Wednesday when they can see the rest of the tests.

My friend doesn’t know if he wants to fight the cancer with chemo. The only reason he gave me for doing so was that, “mother would die if one of her children died before her!” My friend’s mother cannot take care of him because she’s got Parkinson’s. He told his sister about having cancer and she told him that she’d come visit him next weekend.

This all happened yesterday. My friend did not even want go to the doctor. My other friend had to force him to go. In my head, I started to blame him for not going to the doctor sooner since we have been telling him for months that he needed to go.

Instead, I just listened to him talk about his fears. I listened to him talk about how maybe after a couple of months of chemo he can start working again. I’m not a doctor but I have seen the effects of chemo on my stepfather and I know that it doesn’t always work. And when it does, it takes a long time to recover.

I hope he gets better. I hope that things work out. Once again, I am powerless. The only thing I have control over is how I react to the situation. My hope is that I remain a good friend and can be there for him.