Thursday, April 30, 2009


"If I maintain an air of quiet peace, things usually go well." Hope for Today.

Whatever my goals are, I do so much better when I maintain an air of quiet peace. Now, quiet peace has nothing to do with my basic nature, so "faking it til I make it" is the way I do it. Funny how acting as to make it real. Today I have grand plans to check a bunch of stuff off the todolist. I know that jumping and running at it the way my basic nature tries to lead me will just wear me out, so......

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whose Fault is It?

"For though we are made especially for the sake of one another, still each of us has his own tasks. Otherwise another's faults would harm me, which God has not willed, in order that my happiness may not depend on another." (Marcus Aurelius). From One Day At a Time in Al-Anon.

This would have been good to learn in about 7th Grade. It would have saved me from a lot of useless effort. I am grateful to know that my own faults keep me busy enough without having to pay attention to anyone else's. Of course, I used to think I could come to harm through other people's faults. Turns out - it's not true. I sure had a lot of bad information.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Serenity Experiment Part 2

Serenity is probably close to the most important thing for me in my current situation. It is easy for me to become distressed about how slow my progress is and confused about where my life is going. To address this I decided to do a serenity experiment to see what would work best to increase my serenity on a daily basis. For the first three months of the year I tried going to meetings every day or almost every day for awhile. It was a good experiment in that I got some very good help. I'm not sure about the serenity though. It became a chore to try to do it when I was feeling physically overwhelmed, and that just didn't seem like a good way to try to reach the goal. After awhile, I embarked on another experiment in serenity - I am working on developing a quick, smooth, morning and evening routine that encompasses all the things I want to get done but that seem to have eluded me all my life. Since I am an amazingly undisciplined person, this experiment might just be the most challenging of my life (joke, but not really.) So, I read some stuff on self-discipline and came away with one very useful idea to hang on to - pick out one thing that is so easy you cannot fail and practice doing that until it's a habit. Then pick out another easy thing.......Of course, with all the things on my list, I'm going to be over 100 years old before this experiment is over. However, the idea behind this is that it's like weight lifting. You start small and do more as you get stronger. Apparently, there's a self discipline muscle. So...I started with making my bed which I have never done consistently in my life and I now have about three months of a consistently made bed. My most recent thing is getting dressed right after I make my bed, do my morning prayer and meditation and eat breakfast. This is a work in progress, but I have several days when at least I achieved an approximation. Is it helping me be serene? Well, it is in a way. I can't kick myself as much because I am doing something about my situation and paving the way for more. I am distracted from obsessing about the future. By improving my self-discipline I am preparing myself from whatever the future holds. If serenity is an emotion, it's not working, but if being kind of excited and happy about my progress in an area that has been a trouble to me forever has anything to do with it, I'm serene!

Monday, April 27, 2009


"I am your safe harbor amid turbulent seas. Come to me. Allow me to shelter you. My intentions toward you are always kindly. Do not fear my guiding hand. I steer you always twoard your highest good. There is no error in trusting my ways." Answered Prayers. Julia Cameron.
The author writes from what she imagines God would say in answer to prayers about various concerns. I love what she imagines and I think it's probable that she is accurate.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mice and Men

"The best laid plans...." Interesting how things actually turn out no matter what I plan. On Friday I went to a seminar on the physical manifestations of PTSD and ways of using the body and movement to integrate traumatic experiences. It was fascinating and I got a lot of useful information. The speaker kept giving us little, brief exercises to get in touch with how we felt when we made certain movements. Of course, my reaction is that I don't feel a thing and if I keep trying I just getting overwhelmingly sleepy. So, I went home at lunch and went to sleep. It's my PTSD physical reaction - to go to sleep, that is. It's very annoying. I have tried various strategies to change it - the most obvious being to simply force myself not to go to sleep. Oh boy! That one doesn't work at all. If I do it, I get tremendously physically sick and can't function at all. It's just better to go to sleep.

I did make it to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. Since it's spring they had a lot of lettuce, radishes, green onions and asparagus. I already have all of that I need in the fridge from my last trip to Whole Foods. As to flowers: none. So, I got some plants - dill weed, sweet potato vine, a big tomato plant, and some decorative grass. I did make it to a meeting where I thought I would see a lot of people I know. I did see a couple of people I know, but most were complete strangers. Okay. I went home and still being very sleepy, went to bed (again). I slept off and on until 4:30 a.m. and then went back to sleep until 10:00 a.m. Hmmm. I hope the sleeping binge triggered by the seminar is now over so I can get back to life!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm looking forward to this weekend, because I am ready to start on a project I've been postponing. I even have some hope of actually getting it finished! The other reason I'm looking forward is that I have plans for fun. The Cherry Street farmer's market is open again for the season. I love to go there, get just a few fresh things (even including flowers) and eat what I get that very day when it's completely fresh. I love how food tastes when it's just been picked. I also have plans to get together with some friends and I know that will be fun too. Enough of self-examination. I want to have some fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


In the process of working the steps, I've realized - again - that one of the things I find my self regretting over and over is how I've treated people when I'm not conscious of reality. It's not that I treat people really badly, but I could certainly do better. Reality is - all of us are just a breath away from leaving this planet. We have no idea whether this interaction we are having with someone will be the last one because we die or they do. Of course, no one wants to keep this in mind. The only reason I am able to keep this fact in mind is that I've experienced the sudden and unexpected deaths of two of my children and my husband.

Death in our society is a taboo subject (and a taboo thought, apparently). BUT it IS a reality. My newest effort is to try to remember this - especially when I'm interacting with someone with whom I consistently get irritated. I could be at their funeral some day and sit there wishing I had treated them better.

Funerals are funny in an ironic sort of way. We say all kinds of sweet things about people after they're gone and we're missing them terribly. We long to see them again so we can tell them how much we love them and how wonderful we think they are. Of course, it would be a lot better if we told them all this while they were still alive!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The 6th Step says that I need to be entirely ready to have God remove my defects of character. Having just recently done a 4th and 5th Step where I inventoried my defects and talked to one of my Alanon sponsors about them, I have a nice, tidy list of them. So, today I tried to see what behavior I need to change and what to change it to. This is one of those things that absolutely wears me out. I don't squirm in shame anymore. But I do get really tired. I think I get tired just from thinking about changing my behavior. The thing is... the step says GOD is the one who will remove....As one of my friends in the program once said, "Either steps 6 and 7 work or they don't." And I know they do work.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The past couple of days have been good examples of my life since the wreck. Thursday would have been my 23rd wedding anniversary. Practically everyone I know was taking off for Eureka Springs for the annual AA conference there. Ron and I were married there in 1986 just before the conference, and returned every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I have not been back since the wreck, but I will go one of these days. The day passed fairly uneventfully. I thought about Ron a lot and sent him love. On Friday I was the speaker at a group that most of the members go to Eureka. So I told my story to the small group that showed up. I can't really remember what I said, but it was good for me to do it. I'm so grateful for the programs of AA and Alanon since they are not only the foundation for my own life but also were the foundation for our marriage. The plan was for me to go to Dallas on Saturday to help celebrate my son-in-law's graduation with his Master's Degree. But I was pretty much incapacitated on Friday with the worst headache of my life and was just barely able to make it to do the talk. I was still down on Saturday (yesterday) and so didn't make it to Dallas. I just slept all day and all night and finally the headache went away. My life is like this - good days, followed by not so good days but where I'm partially functioning, and then days where I just don't function. I never know what the day will be like when I get up. I strongly suspect that the down days are reactions to the days when I function in spite of painful emotions. However, I have no conscious awareness when I'm doing it and only think of it afterward. So... today I am just where I'm supposed to be - I hope.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I love ballet. Last night I went with friends to see the Santa Fe ballet at our Performing Arts Center, and was just delighted with the amazing choreography. I'm fairly ignorant about classical ballet, but this was definitely not classical. The last of the performance had the dancers suspended by wires with one side of their costumes white and the other black under a black light. It reminded me of the dreams I often have when I'm flying. Those dreams are my very favorite ones! I don't know why I don't do this more often.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Since I have a multi-race family thanks to adoption, the Obamas are of great interest to me. I've thought often that Barak made it to the presidency partly because he was raised primarily in the white culture and so didn't seem so different to the marjority of white people. Of course, there were a lot more important reasons why he made it to the presidency, but I think his background played a part. On the other hand, Michelle was raised in the black culture but a lot of white people don't seem to see that. I think that might be because she was born about the time desegregation began so she did not attend segregated schools and all the doors were open to her even if they had had to be forced open. I don't mean to imply that it was easy for her. I'm sure it wasn't. But for the first time African Americans and women actually had a chance to aspire to law school, etc. The Obamas represent to me the fact that given a chance talent and heart will win out. It's a happy thing to see.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I have been frustrated a lot by the slowness of my recovery. It makes it difficult to plan ahead - even for just a few days. I am often too tired to actually make through all I've planned for a day. That's especially true if the day includes quite a lot of physical activity.

I'm a slow learner. It just occurred to me recently that instead of being caught in a place where nothing important can happen, I could use these times for spiritual growth. In fact, what I realized was that that was actually what I was doing. Hmmm.

On Mondays I have started meeting with a group of members of Ala-non that are studying the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Now you might think I wouldn't have a lot to learn seeing as how I've been studying the book for over 25 years. But it's not so - I am learning a tremendous amount about how the information relates to my character defects as seen from the Ala-non side of the program. I've also been working on an Ala-non 4th Step (inventory step) since I've never done one in Ala-non. Before I embarked on that project, I had to finish doing the assignment given me by one of my Ala-non sponsors - to write about what I believed about my Higher Power (3rd Step). She's a stickler for detail so that project took several weeks. I ended up with a list of troubles that I wanted to give to God since I had been unsuccessful in dealing with them. I even wrote out in what way I would give them to God and how my behavior would change as a result. This turns out to be an ongoing, daily effort. I also meet monthly with a group of AA women to talk about our practice of the step of the month. This group has been meeting at my house since 1996. This is the 4th month so - of course, it's about the 4th step. This particular way of practicing the step is to inventory the contents of our thinking and list the fears we discover as a result. Then we look at the fears from the aspect of whether they are related to the past or the future; whether they are related to sex, security (emotional, financial) or society; and how we act out on those fears in relation to the seven deadly sins. Then on Thursday evenings I'm teaching a class for people in recovery on the topic of what do you do with your life once you've stopped drinking, using or being obsessed with someone else's addiction? It involves discovering the changes you want to make in your own behavior so that your relationships with others are improved. Even though I'm the teacher, I always use the material to inventory my life and relationships. There's more but I'm running out of time.

None of these activities require physical activity. I'm sitting down for almost the whole time. I can stop and start if I get tired. They take a tremendous amount of time. It's a daily chore just to get dressed, eat, take care of my personal business and get this stuff done. But it's a very, very good use of my time. And the best part is - I didn't even think it up myself. I just noticed after I was already doing all of it. Possibly a God deal.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Less Grrrr

Dr. Dreamy read my ct scan today (and so did I). The bone looks really good. It's not completely healed but it's almost there. So, that's not what's causing the problem with my leg. He says he thinks it's a soft tissue problem which would certainly make sense since the muscles are damaged too. But the best thing is that it's not the bone. The rest we can deal with. I don't know how or what yet but we'll figure it out. Thank you God!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Grrr #2

Since my leg seems to be a mess, I went back to using a crutch which takes a lot of weight off my leg. So, of course, there's no more pain or apparent bleeding from the hardware moving around. Tomorrow I go see Dr. Dreamy and I will tell him like I always do that I think he should cut a small hole in my leg and look in with a magnifying glass to see what's going on. I keep suggesting this since neither xrays nor ct scans really tell us what's up. They keep telling me that that won't work. Although I feel better, I find myself being very, very tired and I'm back to sleeping 10 to 12 hours at a time. Mentally and emotionally I'm really pretty good, oddly enough.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Day by day my leg gets worse. First it was my back, then my leg started hurting. Everything started when I tried to leave the cane behind. Grrr. I've had a ct scan of my leg and will be going back to the doctor this coming week and I guess we'll decide what to do. I'm fairly sure that the hardware in my leg is working loose. Probably the only thing to do about that is surgery. Grrr again. I'm fairly emotionally calm though. Gift of the program and of antidepressants.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Saturday's day-long beautiful snow covering my blooming redbud! Four days later the redbud is no worse for two days of a snow cover.


Here is wonderful Rusty - my oldest daughter's family dog. He is such a love, and I am sad that he is sick - especially since there's not much the vet can do for him. Another thing for the note I'm going to be buried with - I would like God to have our animal companions live longer.

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