Thursday, August 04, 2011


I spent yesterday reading back through my journal beginning in January 2011 through July 2011.  It really was a daylong process - my rear end actually started to get numb from sitting still so long, and I haven't had that problem since spending months on end in a wheelchair.  My goal was to see what progress I had made on my priorities. 

For most of my life, I was driven by necessity and urgency.  I always ran out of energy before I got to the end of the urgent necessities and so lived with fear and guilt.  I got a lot better in that department after I got into recovery, but I never really figured out what came first.  I remember having company over for dinner and falling asleep in my chair after dinner because I was so exhausted from the preparations.  One year my husband decided we should never again have Thanksgiving dinner at our house because after everyone left I was so shaky with exhaustion I could barely walk.  In this part of my journey, I was still learning my limitations.

Finally I figured out - with the help of the principles of the program - that knowing what my purpose is is the key.  At first my purpose was to get well enough to kind of function normally.  Then my purpose became to be a reasonably responsible adult.  Then the evolution of my recovery led me to a purpose of spiritual growth.  At the same time I was working at a job that was so demanding that I felt like I was working 24 hours a day while coping with my husband's very serious illness.  My purpose of spiritual growth gave me the tools to love my husband and my job.  This part of my journey was about acceptance of reality and doing my best within my limitations even if it wasn't perfect.

Now I'm in the last leg of my journey.  My purpose in this phase is to stay as healthy and functional as I can while continuing to grow spiritually.  Part of growing spiritually is to find ways to share what I've learned.  But for the past almost six years, my purpose was to get as well as I could and I think I'm pretty much there.  So now I'm back to learning my limitations and accepting reality.  I have goofy goals like increasing the number of times I am able to get up before 8:00 a.m. so that I have the most amount of time to do the things that matter the most before I poop out.  Some of the others are to eat well, exercise and write, as well as make time for my spiritual practices.   Some of these are going better than others.  For example, in January and February I was up before 8:00 a.m. three times, but in the last three months I've averaged about 20 times.  On the other hand, I've exercised zero times in the last month, but in February, March, April and May I averaged twice a week.  Sometimes I go backward instead of forward, but I've learned to accept that about myself and just keep on keeping on.

 I also have my dear companion cat to care for and that gets more involved as he gets older.  I work with a number of people in the program and although that's time and energy consuming, it also increases my own growth exponentially.  All in all I was pleased with my progress report, and am ready for increasing my progress. 

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