Sunday, March 29, 2009

Inspiration and Guidance

"Those who simply turn their backs on their problems are not 'letting go and letting God' - they are abandoning their commitment to act on God's inspiration and guidance." One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 163.

Once a month a group of us get together to share about our practice of Step 3 of the AA program. This month (it being the 3rd month) we are practicing Step 3. The devastating news we received a few days ago was certainly something to turn over in Step 3. I really thought the most I could hope for was comfort for my heart that felt broken all over again. What we actually received was several sweet messages from someone we barely knew who was present for those horrible events of 30 years ago. The messages comforted us and changed our perspective. So, once again I have experienced the power of the 3rd Step!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here we are in Branson on the trip to visit Liz's uncle and his wife. There was a marvelous water and fire show behind us after we took this picture. What fun!

From L to R - Rebecca, Liz, me (making a face) and Anita, Sam's wife.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I am grateful for sponsors who listen to my sadness and help me work through it. Today I am much better and back on track. My sadness and need to re-think the events of 30 years ago would probably drive me back into my negativity were it not for understanding, loving people to talk to. No one, including me, thinks it would be a good idea for me to put my life totally on hold while I obsess. Some of that is necessary, but not so much as to stop living. After all, I'm 67 and want to make good use of my remaining time!

Monday, March 23, 2009


My Higher Power tends to wake me up in the middle of the night. I guess that's because it's the only time I'm not thinking. Anyway...I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea that no matter what happened 30 years ago - and I'll never know for sure what actually did - a lot of forgiveness is called for for a lot of people. So, that's what I will do - with the help of God. It's the best thing for me to do for myself, actually. It will bring me peace.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today I'm feeling better. I've moved from horror to angry self-pity which - awful as it sounds - is a lot better. Poor me - why do I and my family have to suffer so much? Grrr. I will put it on my list of questions to be buried with so I can ask God. But right now I'm feeling determined to fight back and not let the events of 30 years ago - whatever they might have been - tear me down today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm back in town and our visit was wonderful. At the same time that the visit was wonderful we got devastating information from 30 years ago that changed my whole perception of the events of that time. I expect it will take a long time before I even have a comment or opinion about it. I know myself well enough by now to know that I am extremely slow to process difficult information. Right now I feel as if I am a different person than I'm familiar with. My recovery program keeps me grounded and safe.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Brief gap

There will be a brief gap in entries since I will be traveling for the next few days. My oldest daughter and my oldest granddaughter will be going with me to visit my first husband's brother. Odd how family is defined these days! This will be our second trip. About a year ago we visited after about a 35 year absence from one another. It was a terrific experience and I'm looking forward to this visit.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ahhh #2

Today I visit my massage therapist. Yesterday was the chiropractor and the day before my still point therapist. I am sore but better, I think. I'm following instructions and being very quiet until the whole process has had time to settle in. Being quiet is easy since all I really want to do is sleep after they've worked on me. Not a very interesting life, but necessary.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mother Hen

One of the major dysfunctional characteristics I have is caretaking (also known as Mother Hen). An old friend used to call me the Earth Mother - which he meant as a compliment. In small amounts perhaps it is a good thing. I'm a fabulous problem solver. It's a talent and I've developed it over the years. I've been paid good money in jobs for this well-developed talent. However, when foisted upon unsuspecting folks, it's annoying. If you tell me about a problem, I will give you all the solutions I can think of on the spot. Of course, if you didn't ask me for them and were only making conversation, well.... I've thought about this a lot and wondered why people some times love my problem-solving and sometimes don't.

I've come to the conclusion that being a mother hen is really about TWO things: 1) I do something to help you and you don't have to do anything. For example, you tell me about your money problems and I give you enough money to make them go away, or 2) I give you all the information I have on how to solve money problems but you have to actually do the work. I would be willing to help but most of it has to be done by you. Guess which one of these things is most welcome to people telling me their troubles? The first one makes them feel nurtured (the Earth Mother) but the second one demands that they grow up and take responsibility. Oh dear!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am happy that my massage therapist and still point therapist are both back in town. I have an appointment tomorrow and Saturday. Once I get all that in place again, I'm parking the cane and will see how I do without it. I can schedule physical therapy again as soon as my back stays in alignment. Believe me, all this focus on what my body is doing or not doing is getting boring. But if I forget about it - well, I can't. I still have healing as my purpose but it's a step toward getting more of my life back. I am grateful, though, for how much life I have even with having to work around my physical limitations.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Live and Learn

Stole this graphic from another blogger in recovery and I think I will frame it and hang it on the wall. It's very simple. There are complications for every one of the instructions but it's still wonderful. For example, I have learned that it is possible to hurt people unintentionally. If my side of the street is clean, I can make amends and not carry guilt. It is way too late for me to start accepting defeat. I have way too many years of being carried by a higher power to start believing that quitting is the answer to anything. Having fun and striving to be happy are big challenges for me. For years all I cared about was getting out of pain. Now that I am out of pain, I find I really have to work at having fun and being happy. I didn't have much experience so I have to catch up!

Monday, March 09, 2009


There are a couple of women writers that when I read them I just open up. Don't ask me what that means. I can't explain it. It's just that they say what's in my heart, and I know there's someone else in the world like me. One of them is Anne Lamott who writes in a very funny way about the most godawful serious stuff. She is in recovery. The other is Melody Beattie. She became famous from just writing about her experience with addiction and co-dependency. I read her first book almost 25 years ago and understood for the first time what was wrong with me. The other books on that subject just lost me. But Melody is writing from her heart and I get it. Her son died in a ski accident when he was 12, which was more than 10 years ago. I totally get why she says she was in grief and unable to function for years since I struggled with the death of my son for more than 20 years before I began to be in acceptance. What I get from these writers is that I am not an "isolated incident" that no one can possibly understand. My reactions and struggles are not something to be ashamed of. At my advanced age it feels good to let myself off the hook.

"We need to tell the story of our loss repeatedly to make it real and to believe that it happened. When we're telling the same story over and over, what we're really doing is working hard to integrate and accept something that's not yet acceptable to us...Is there something we could have done differently? Would that have prevented the loss? We make peace with the senseless by telling the story ten, twenty, one hundred or one thousand times to anyone who'll listen. Obsession is part of the path to surrendering to loss." Melody Beattie. The New Co-Dependency.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I recently rediscovered the Adult Children of Alcoholics program which began in the 80s. I attended some meetings back then but it was so new there wasn't much recovery. I was also new in my own recovery and not ready. I don't know if my mother was alcoholic or not, but I have virtually all the characteristics of an "adult child." I've been attending a few meetings and bought the books. To my surprise I found that a lot of the difficulties in functioning I've had in my life are considered to be traits of adult children. Since the wreck I've had severe symptoms of PTSD and dissociation that have impaired my ability to get things done - thus my todolist obsession. But even before the wreck the same symptoms got in my way a lot. So now I am hoping that the ACA program will free me - even if only partially - from some of the more debilitating difficulties.

One of the common ACA traits that I have is being frightened by angry people and any personal criticism. Heard in a recent ACA meeting in regard to when an angry person attacks: "Sit with the situation and accept it. Then you can respond with love instead of defensiveness. Have compassion for the person and where he/she is. Don't take it personally." Can't do that yet but hope to get there. There are almost no angry people in my life, but from time to time I have to deal with one. So, this is a new way to think about it besides just getting the hell out of there!

Friday, March 06, 2009


"Sometimes I worry that I'm not doing something truly important with my life. Caught up in day-to-day trivialities, it doesn't seem that I accomplish much. Yet I forget that through all of my daily routine,...I am learning how to love myself, my Higher Power and those around me....As I grow in love, I worry less about doing something important...To me there is nothing more important I can do with my life than becoming more loving and spiritual." Hope for Today

For sure I need to remember this when I'm trying to get things checked off the ever present list!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I have several practitioners that I visit on a regular basis to keep my body going in a positive direction. One of them elected to go to California for a funeral and another went to Hawaii for a month. I was right in the middle of trying to give up the cane! I appreciate the fact that they can't schedule their lives around mine so I'm only kidding when I say that it was extremely inconvenient for me. I've been stalled for quite awhile now. In the next couple of weeks they will be back so my hope is that I will be reporting that I've thrown away the cane for good soon!

Another milestone on my journey was the party given for me by my former boss and co-workers this week. The party was a celebration of the progress I've made in my recovery and I was ever so grateful for both the party and the gift they gave me. Although I have no desire to go back to work there because it was the most challenging job I've ever had and I'm not really up for any big challenges, I do appreciate the kindness they all have shown me over the past three years. It has been amazing.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


"The light in our own mind will help dissolve the darkness in someone else's, but only if we refuse to judge or blame them for what we view as their errors...Sometimes we say we have communicated with someone, when all we really did was share our own viewpoint." Marianne Williamson.

I am so grateful for knowing this truth. It keeps me from not listening to anyone else. Like the human being I am, I usually think I'm right and everyone else is wrong if I disagree. It turns out that we may both be right. The only way for me to find out the truth is to listen and try, with the help of God, to understand.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Living with disapproval - even though useful in some ways - is not the greatest of fun. Thanks to self-examination, I don't have to kick myself or get mad. I do, however, have to decide whether to continue to live with it, or let go of the relationship. I loved my job and I was well paid, so I stayed. When it's a friendship, even though I might love the person, the disapproval weighs the friendship down. There's a misperception that can't be changed so the relationship feels unreal in a way.

Blog Archive