Saturday, March 7, 2015

Good God

I have received, from my mother, a  kind and loving email--following months of cold punitive judgement.  Unbridled harshness.   To which, I  responded  with only love and detachment.  I have done nothing to initiate or contribute to the storm.  Nothing, but be myself--subversive, I suppose--off script in my refusal to engage, resisting any delusion that I might aresst or tame her hurricane, without injury to myself.  What a trip.  It is something to step back and witness how the moods, rages, and whims of my mother and ex unfold.....  Seemingly At me.  Completely independent of any word or action on my part.  

On a similar but entirely different note, I am experiencing a deeply spiritual and loving connection with a man who not only rolls out the emotional welcome mat.  But escorts me in.  Quite different from those whom flippantly open the door and passively suggest I may come or go, with judgement either way.  Some people want only company in life.  We each agree it's not enough. Here... We get to be who and how we are without apology; because that is the value, the expectation, the principal we share.  

Very very clear from these two examples of communication not willed by me, that we can never have more than we are willing to settle for.    

My sweet man has expressed in  beautiful ways, that whatever is happening is a result of something greater than either of us.  This is nothing we could do on our own.   I can only compare this to what a person who was once blind, would experience in seeing  vivid color for the first time.  Breathtaking and beautiful though nearly blinding-a magnificence that defies articulation and leaves me strattling what feels like a fine line between joy and pain.  We choose to be  intentional in acceptance, faith and service to this connection.  What else could it be, but GOD?

Of course I'd like for this to be the  beginning of forever.  And, I choose to feel grateful for a blessed time.  Here.  Now.  I can't be happy now for the future.  Or sad now for the past.  I can just be present and be my best for what is. 

The physical encounters are beyond ecstasy.  Something I've never known.  It is a first for me--to just show up and engage in authentic wholesome luvvin.  To get lost in it.  To crave it.  Because I can't help it.  I am not in control.  And neither is he.  I treasure the hours of being tangled up  both physically and spiritually.  Possibly, the two can or should not be separated.   

We experience fluid, cohesive, and delicious verbal communication.  And... what is expressed indirectly is twice as powerful.  Good god.  


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Regarding Newtown Tragedy

It goes without saying that we grieve for the losses of those shot by the killer as well as those who survive them.
As a mother of little ones, and first grade teacher, I am crushed by this event. As a woman in recovery, I am aware and disturbed by the thought of denied and dismissed signs that this man was ill, desperate, and therefore dangerous. I am aware of our call to honestly acknowledge and genuinely serve the mentally ill. These lives might have been spared. Hurt people hurt people. I don't want to engage in a system that allows people to become so desperate...with nothing to lose. Nothing to lose fuels nothing good. And is a force to be reckoned with.

Only because of my program of recovery, can I see the shooter as once, somebody's baby. He was not well cared for. Responsibility belongs to each of us, to care for the people of the world. ALL People matter. When we forget that, they remind us with heinous acts like this.

It's just too easy to proclaim our grief and outrage over this "evil" man, our fists shaking as we demand "Something must be done!" But what does that look like? How is it constructive or indicative of intent to consider viable change. More prisons? Stricter laws? The real sadness is in our own accountability and willingness to acknowledge our very real disregard for "those people".

Sunday, November 25, 2012


The pre-program decades of faithless existence squashed,for me, the ability to experience genuine hope. I just hooooooped that one day it might all to hurt less. I hoped to one day be tethered to anything but despair, mine, or those of others. I hoped to be rescued or excused.

Grateful, I am learning to behave in ways that develop faith. Faith that things do get better...when I KNOW and do my part.

I have been encouraged and guided to learn what it means to be me, as well as to care for myself. Those are miracles in and of themselves. I learned that I am real, that I matter, that I am not bad or crazy. That I can neither feel nor effectively offer love when I am HALT: Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. Seriously, THIS was news for me. And requires constant contrary action. Caring for myself has been neither natural nor convenient. But in committing to just those aspects of self care, miracles began happening.

I recall vividly many saturday mornings sitting on couch breastfeeding one baby, while reading story to the other, hungry and with a full bladder. My(now) exAH in the kitchen enjoying coffee, space, and making his freaking ritual oatmeal. HOPING I would matter enough that he would offer help, participation, partnership. Offer anything. Even a smile. Eye contact. Why did I hope? There was nothing(but his promises an declarations!)in our time together that suggested he was interested in offering anything other than what he always had.

With only 2 1/2 years of Good Orderly Direction, I now experience the gifts of faith and the goodness of myself and of life. I am able to see and be, and sometimes, even receive love. I have hope that my boys will see how to live a more loving gentle way of life than either of their parents.

I still lack clear hopes or dreams of what I "want". Life is very much one day at a time. I mostly hope for a constructive attitude that keeps me faithfully putting one foot in front of the other. My progress is slow but my direction hopeFUL.

Some of the time, my attitude is better than my circumstances. That was never true before. On my best days, my attitude was pathetic...and my hopes were foolish and unreasonable expectations that things should and would just BE different..

I have what I need for today. I have hope that my life will continue to grow and unfold as I work these steps and practice the traditions in my life.
When I take good care of the present moment, I have hope for the best possible tomorrow.
That's what I was trying to say but could not, without the story and abundance of words.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Belonging...this is so closely linked to shame. It's so chicken and the egg in its cycle. Doesn't really matter which comes first. But the more shame we have, the less we belong. And the less we belong, the more shame there is.
I really appreciate the distinction between fitting in and belonging. I struggle with both. I see now that I do NOT need to be JUST LIKE in order to be a part of, in fact trying to be anything but me prohibits true connection to anything. Disconnection from the truth of who I am blocks an authentic connection to all things good and lasting.

While I never belonged in my family, I tried to fit in. Failing endlessly to crack the code of what THEY knew and thought. The only way I found to "fit in"/the only commonality: WE all agreed that I was a problem, a burden. Beating myself up for the sake of laughter and connection appeared my only way to go. When my self deprecation didn't bring laughter, I chose very non entertaining ways to annihilate myself.

I developed equally, an intense craving and fear for laughter. I still do. I love laughing and often confuse it for connection. If we share a laugh, we are connected. In my FOO, it seems still that the best laughter comes at the expense of another...what an amazing and bond/club right? And an absence of laughter was terrifying. There was the laughter of "you please me"...(this was tricky, because it was hard to nail down exactly what was pleasing), The laughter of "you are funny". When it was clear that I was neither funny nor pleasing, I could count on trouble ahead. There was a lack of kindness in my home.
Laughter. Silence. Raging. Laughter seemed best. Sometimes, I catch myself trying to laugh for unnatural reasons and I feel ill, the moment I recognize it.

How sad...that I related primarily 2 forms of laughter, at my expense, or at someone else's. laughter that exists only in the presence of an "outsider". The Laughers were in charge.

Because program has introduced me to the concepts of faith and boundaries, I am able to enjoy and create the good kind of laughter with just about anyone. Today, i can love and let myself be. No longer using myself as bait for the sharks, I don't need for them to eat me so that I can feel a part of.

Today, I am a part of a fellowship where i can connect through service, sponsorship, sharing. Because of our shared principles and primary mission, I know I belong. I don't have to be bait for the sharks or behave like a shark, to live in the world where there are in deed many sharks. So glad for this new and gentle way of living. Service is always a great way to become a part of. And this program teaches me I can be of service anytime, anywhere, in any situation. For me, the most difficult forms and frequently required forms of service are waiting, being still, and being quiet. But I'll keep practicing. One day at a time, it gets easier.

Ok, I get it. I get it. I no longer have to participate in or subject myself to harshness, perceived or otherwise. I don't have to pretend it doesn't exist or cause me pain. And...drumroll please.....I don't have to rage against it. I am learning to live gently in harsh times.

Very aware of the gravity of my responsibility to teach my boys to know, like, and trust themselves. To not fear imperfection. And to develop trust in themselves. To know and seek the truth. Not be fooled or justified by perfection. I want them to be truth seekers not truth claimers. The "truth"being gauged by authentic kindness and humility in its motive.

Teaching by example of my life, today.
For little does it matter what ideas or facts are shared in words. The truth is in repeated daily action. I finally get this. One day at a time I get better at this. Damn, it's exhausting.

Old thinking trying to pull me into the familiar darkness. I now know that looking perfect is not a result of living with honor and kindness. And that being so overtly flawed does not make me bad or incapable of kindness or deserving of unkindness. I'll just keep saying it until...

I'm slowly unravelling this. I see how I've always believed that the perfect looking person was believed to be right,good, credible. And having never had a perfect looking moment, easily stressed. Not composed, I usually came up short when up against perfect looking. I'm so imperfect looking and being(faulty at a cellular level). But that is not ACTUALLY evidence of wrongness or unworthiness. I'll keep telling myself this. I seriously,always believed I had to adopt the truth of the right-looking or rebel against it. How many times did I hear..."then, why did you ask what I thought?" I was only allowed to ask if I intended to receive it like scripture.

I get to practice acceptance. I give myself permission to avoid situations where anyone justifiably behaves unkindly. The holidays are really bringing the past up. Because of program, I can share about it openly and then move onto the light. Thank you!

Self Image

As the twig is bent, the tree inclines.

A positive self-image is critical to our recovery. Why? Because it is the glasses through which we look, the gloves with which we touch, the door by which we enter into a relationship with life. Self-image is not who we really are, but a combination of what we wish we were, who we're afraid we are, and who we imagine other people think we are.

We act out in detail the role we've assigned ourselves in this world. That role, our self-image, works like a key that either fits or doesn't fit a world full of locked doors. Different keys open different doors. And some doors lead to bad places, as we all know. It isn't easy to change keys, but it is infinitely worth it. One reason is that we always pass our self-image on to our children; they know us too well to be fooled. If we want our children to walk tall, laugh happily, and sing joyously - we ourselves must do these things for them to see.

Today, I pray for the courage to challenge my tendency to discount myself. All my strong points will be very clear to me today.

Self Care

Interesting that in the few years before Alanon, my new years resolutions I joked were pathetic. I made one resolution for life, each year. I like them because I can not fail. I had reached a level of apathy where this was the best I could do. Here they are.

2006 Drink more water
2007 Eat more fruit
2008 Apply moisturizer and lotion
2009 Wear earrings and lip gloss
2010 I found Alanon and no longer need a new year to commit to a better me.

I still remind myself of these resolutions when I feel there is simply nothing I can do for myself. These small but contrary actions elevate the quality and course of my days and life.


I've come to see that adrenaline has been my drug of choice. A poor sleeper and eater with terribly low self esteem, I rarely had energy for much. I discovered early on that fear and panic can propel me, regardless of how weak or intimidated I feel, without adequate rest,food, confidence. The thing is, when fueled by adrenaline, I do not make good choices, I am unkind, impatient, and usually do and say things to regret. With program, I no longer rely on adrenaline to get moving.

Here(in my whopping 2years), I've learned the value of caring for my basic needs which allows me to be of service to those things I just can't do. I've also,through near constant contrary action, experienced self esteem and dignity, which allow me to rest fitfully at the end of my days,for the first time in my life.

Through prayer and mediation, along with my readings I've learned to ask "what is needed of me" in each moment. Checking it against How important is it...and Easy does it. In taking good direction, and my life improving, while my circumstances plummet, I'm developing faith,patience, and hope.

In program, learning my needs and limits, having good direction, faith, and self care are all helping me to be less of a paralyzed procrastinator that I may be of maximum service.

It's all so connected.


Living with addiction for too long has made it difficult to know which circumstances are related, if at all. A very general and ridiculous metaphor of this type if thinking for me....

I ate Mexican food last night.
The weather is especially hot today.

In the future I will avoid Mexican food so as not to bring on unpleasant temperature extremes.

I feel very aware of my insane thinking with regards to A's behaviors and attitudes.

Recovery...a process, not an event

Boundaries, self esteem, worthiness, humility, emotional honesty, awareness of needs, limits, likes, dislikes....a life time of learning. For me, this process is more to do with discovery than recovery and I find it as challenging as it is wonderful. I've never committed to anything more genuinely and faithfully. Finally, something to believe in! I'm so grateful for a process/practice delivers me to a better way of living,daily.

My circumstances remain brutal and yet, my worst days in divorce/recovery are better than all the ones before. The gift is that, because of this program, after only 2 years, i now know there is more to life than my circumstances and my feeeeeelings about them. The process of learning how to's why we are here. I'm grateful for all my teachers, although not so much for those who provide ample exercise in dealing with difficult people.

Still quite new and under siege by ex AH, I do not welcome the constant opportunities for practice.


For a good part of my life...(not "good" but much of), I wasn't sure that I didn't exist, only,as a part of somebody's dream. I longed for my dreamer to I could be done.

I remember, in my first apartment and telephone how I repeatedly would listen to my outgoing voice message, sort of in disbelief that the voice was mine. It felt so incongruous, because I knew I had no voice. My unfortunate reliance on volume and profanity to communicate....ineffectively conveyed only that I was a be dealt with or ignored, but not loved.

Profanity and volume were not the voice of me, but the scared, sad, ashamed, angry voices of alcoholism.

When I discovered an essential oil that I liked, I'd put it on my wrists and still to this day get comfort as i sniff-check it throughout the day. Because its MY scent. I'm real. I'm here. I'm not a figment of someone's dream or imagination. I am real...and gratefully (no longer:)not in charge of (responsible for)all problems. My "me" is somewhere in between "total sh@t and hot sh@t".

Here, I learn to practice acting my right size, through learning my needs, responsibilities, and limits. This program of recovery and design for "living" gently guide me in my self care, service and faith, delivering my me to a life of sanity, worthy of living. My recovery matters greatly. Thank you.

Self Reliance? Perfection?

How is it possible that so many people went through life thinking they could do it all or do any thing perfectly. I am not sure if I resent or envy them for being so far ahead of the game. I knew I couldn't ever do or be enough. Because to have felt any worth or love I would have had to be anyone, not me. Who would even try UNDER that sort of belief system? I sometimes wonder of I'm the only one. It seems most people "suffer" from self reliant and perfectionist delusions. I wished my delusions were those. It was my experience that any efforts of mine were bound to be ignored if not punished. Always desperate to just be finished with any and all things so I could get on with the next exercise in disappointing others.

Attractive, thin, funny, I had friends, hobbies, and a career I loved before I surrendered myself to a loveless, alcoholic marriage which confirmed it all. Thank god I had children and my role as mother left no choice but to figure out how to live. So, that my children will watch and learn more than a slow pathetic march to death with stooped shoulders and furrowed brow. After 2 years in program, I sleep better, stand straighter, no longer hold my breath, smile again.

One day at a recovery/developing faith allows me moments of great patience, hope, faith, courage, humility, and self esteem.

Thanks for listening. I do wonder though, how I seem to be the only one who suffers my style of suffering. Where are the others? Anyone?

Alone vs. Lonely

I was never lonelier, than as a married woman. Knowingly accepting a place holder for a loving partner did not work out for me. I'm glad that place is formally opened up. When we throw ourselves away to,fit in or please, there is no lonelier place. And I think for chameleon types, being alone is a relief....unless there are no alternatives. Balance!

In this program, I get to know myself and my faith. I work to become honest, open, and willing. And perhaps I will one day be able to engage in a mature, spiritual, and loving partnership. And with a developing faith in my God, I believe I will come to recognize and welcome a man with like principles (or at least not opposing, or worse, none at all).

I am beyond grateful for the awareness of what has plagued my relations and my life. Slowly and erratically, the awareness comes. I struggle in my wait for acceptance before taking action. I am seeking daily conscious contact with this power greater than myself. And great, indeed. For me, it was impossible to experience patience without faith. Being impatient as a way of life was terribly lonely. Impulsive desperate reactions shamed and isolated me more than anything else I can identify.
One day a time, it gets better. I do better. I get better. Thank God.

Forgiveness and Detachment

I simply cannot get my head around a workable definition of forgiveness for those who righteously continue to behave unkindly and dishonestly, and whom I must continually deal with.

I am immeasurably more resilient to irritants and inconveniences/inconsiderations that 2years ago would have been deemed assaults and measures of my worth. Launching me further over the edge, polling people for affirmation for how badly he/she is entitled I am to let things ruin my days/years/life...and then waiting with impatience to be worthy of rescue.

Being right about things to justify feeling and living poorly is my brand of insanity. In my family f origin, if you kept someone in the wrong, all forms of mistreatment by the non-wrong were justifiable.

Today, I'm learning how to, when appropriate, say ouch and stop, without volume,accusation, and profanity . For those who assertively disregard my needs and limits, I choose detachment with an axe.... that is in fact progress. Treating them as co-workers whom I don't care for but can offer courtesy at best... works miracles

This is my staple prayer: "God, please help me to know and do what is needed of me". Me...on my knees. Now, Instead of begging for things to stop, go away, or be different, I genuinely seek to know and do God's will...Then, I pray harder for the discipline to match my actions to my prayers. I want to live in be of maximum service to my fellows and family. So simple and yet so unnatural and often an excruciating effort to resist the old selfish and defeating rituals that dragged me through the first four decades of my human experience.

Show me. Guide me. Change me.

One Day at a Time

So funny to recall the 70s sitcom that I watched faithfully. And until just 2.5 years ago to the day, I had no idea that One Day at a Time referred to anything other than the Valerie Bertinelli show of my childhood.

Even after a few months of program, it was frustrating to be "dismissed" with this slogan when I needed for others to understand how demanding and impossible my life had become. It was not until I cobbled together my first ideas about a power greater than myself(which was the group) that I could apply this slogan to my life. Because without faith in something besides myself or my angry and critical AH, patience did not exist. How could I deal with today when the past was such a wreck and the future promised be the same. But nothing changes if nothing changes. I was dying to try something new.

Today, this slogan gives me my life. Now able to identify when obsessive shame of past and fear of future are competing for my attention, i am able to redirect myself, often repeatedly, by saying "this day is all I have, this moment" Today, I see that worry does not prepare me anymore than suffering in shame absolves me. One Day at a Time, I strengthen my practices of slowing down and accepting the limits of what I can do(that is constructive).

Today, I know that One Day at a Time is the only way to keep moving from where I was to where I mean to be. It's not easy but is more simple and dignified than my habitual awfulizing and wearing myself out attempting to do the undoable.

I have this weekend to recover from a virus, do all holiday decorating, shopping, relaxing,....before my little boys return and rightfully rely on me 24/7 for all things.

My list is just a list. All I really HAVE to do is my recovery, physical and spiritual. I think I'll go curl up with a book for now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Learning Detachment

I'm terrible at detachment. For now, my progress is turning my head, not reading emails, not taking calls, not listening to messages. I finally know beyond doubt the value of detachment and I'm able to practice it in less threatening situations quite well.

Regarding my hostile ex AH, I had to change his contact info so that when he texts,emails, or calls, instead of his name, what appears on my phone is: " It's alcoholism, the disease, its not personal." That at least makes me pause long enough to decide if I feel equipped in that moment to field his call.

Since coming to program I am helped greatly by being reminded constantly that what he says may or may not be true. And it really doesn't matter what he says. In 2 years, he has not said one nice or helpful thing. So it's pretty safe to just ignore completely. Actually, in marriage the same is true. I just didn't know about ignoring. I was too consumed martyring and controlling.

I have a folder in my email titled IGNORE. I have all his emails routed there so they can't derail me when I'm emailing. I only check the ignore folder after all other email tasks are complete...which is rarely. We do have children. But since I take care of all things not Disney, it's pretty low risk to put off dealing with him.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My New Practice

Interesting that in the few years before Alanon, my new years resolutions I joked were pathetic. I made one resolution for life, each year. I like them because I can not fail. I had reached a level of apathy where this was the best I could do. Here they are.

2006 Drink more water
2007 Eat more fruit
2008 Apply moisturizer and lotion
2009 Wear earrings and lip gloss
2010 I found Alanon and no longer need a new year to commit to a better me.

I still remind myself of these resolutions when I feel there is simply nothing I can do to make things better. These small but contrary actions elevate the quality and course of my days and my life.

One day at a time I get better, it gets better. I live, learn, change, love, and parent better than I ever imagined possible(for myself).

My life is as good as it is difficult. That's amazing.

My goal is to have goals

My goals are still limited to better daily practices. Basically self care, service, prayer, surrender.

Ultimate goals: love, service, peace, dignity, health, prosperity. I love my direction and feel satisfied in my progress. The direction is all that matters.

Only 2 yrs in program with wee little ones and hostile divorce, I cannot look beyond today. Having lost, early on, the ability to dream for myself, I am very much in survival more than "recovery" . I am in spiritual recovery completely. But the constant chaos of my material experience seems to prevent any real goal setting, as I see it, today

My God

I'm so grateful for a spiritual program that encourages all views of higher power. My concept of higher power evolves as I write more, read more, and listen to others share. For me, today, the nuts and bolts of higher power for me lies in the collective wisdom of all those with whom I share in this amazing program.

Surrendering to God, for me, is surrendering my reactions in exchange for the Good Orderly Direction in the steps, slogans, CAL, sponsorship, and meetings. Surrendering to the facts. Cooperating with reality!

When I surrender my will and my ways, my life gets better....and that can only be the grace of GOD.

I still lack the language to fully discuss and share about my God. I feel like the word God has been claimed by the religious. So sometimes, I recoil at the term. I long for an authentic name for this. A word that authentically expresses this power that is transforming my life, one day, one moment at a time.

Having absolute confidence that my way brings chaos is the first part of my coming to believe. Having experienced the daily reprieve from crippling despair is a result of taking Good Orderly Direction and has given me this thing called faith. The faithless existence is no longer a choice I'm willing to make.

Through constant contrary action, my faith in this program and the goodness of life grows and I can't help but keep coming back. I want more.

We cannot think ourselves into a better life; we must live each day into better thinking.

Am I living myself into a new life? Today, I am.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seek God...

Today, I felt disturbed by my connection to the story about the man who's boat sunk in the middle of the ocean. While he hung on to a part of the boat, he prayed. And in his heart, he heard God say that He would save him. Later that day, a fishing boat came by and they called out to pull him up. He declined "No thanks, God promised that He would save me". Later, a helicopter flew overhead and dropped a line for the man who yelled out "No thanks....etc.". Last, an ocean liner's attempt also was refused. The man drowned, of course. Upon arrival at the pearly gates, he was mad at God, saying "You promised to save me and now I am dead from drowning". To which God responded "Well, I did send you a fishing vessel, a helicopter, and an ocean liner. What more would you have me do?"