Z is for Zeal

Well, folks, it’s all over except for the shouting! This is it. I don’t know if I would have made it without the strong encouragement of my friends, especially my online friends.

I do have passion, I have that in spades. It’s just been a really difficult last couple of weeks. I’ve been going through a depression, and it’s been affecting my work, my friendships, everything I’m about. It’s forced me to dig deep on some reserve I never knew I had in order to finish this commitment.

It’s not just about the shiny, shiny blog badge, either (although I’m always up for shiny, shiny things 😉 ). It’s about completion. It’s about finishing what I start. Last year I completed NaNoWriMo for the first time in a long time and that felt great. This feels a lot like that.

What’s your passion? What are you committed to and what’s import to finish today? Don’t wait another moment. The feeling’s indescribable.

Y is for Yes

While it’s important to understand that “No” is a full sentence, and we need to be able to use that in our lives when we need to, it’s just as important to shout “Yes!” to life’s many opportunities.  We only get one chance at this great thing, we might as well give it our all, eh?

I don’t figure that when I’m taking my last breath I will be thinking of all the rotten things I did, or even all the good things I did. I reckon I’ll be thinking of the chances I missed because I was too scared or too hesitant when I thought maybe I couldn’t do it. Or wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, on and on and on.

Today I shout a giant “YES!” to life. I’m ready. I’m so there.

Ahem. Maybe one day at a time.

How about you? What have you said yes to lately? What are you willing to say yes to?

Peace out.

X is for Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate. It is widely found in nature, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is also extracted from birch bark.  It is important to remember, however, that Xylitol is a specific molecule. The Xylitol extracted from one source is exactly the same as Xylitol from any  other source – just as the sugar (sucrose) extracted from beets is exactly  the same as the sugar we get from sugar cane.

I never knew, or cared, about any of these things until I understood that I was also a sugar addict and needed to attend Overeaters Anonymous meetings. Now it’s important to me to read labels, to know how many grams of sugar are in the things I’m eating, etc.

“If taken in moderation, xylitol is unlikely to pose a problem. However, refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, white bread, pastries, and cakes are quickly broken down into glucose and act just as refined sugar does. (Note: complex carbohydrates as found in whole grains and washed white Basmati rice are fine, but avoid most other types of polished white rice due their depleted nutritional value.) Obviously, sugar-rich foods and beverages, such as chocolate, ice cream, and soda should be avoided.”

– Andreas Moritz Cancer Is Not A Disease – It’s A Survival Mechanism

Peace out.

 

W is for Wisdom

 

The wisdom of knowing the difference between accepting the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can is a delicate balance. For me it’s like walking a tightrope sometimes.

And it probably doesn’t help that I’m a slow learner. 😉 Even when I read something, it takes me a while to absorb it, and even longer to put it into practice. So when I ran into difficulty these past couple of weeks with depression, it never occurred to me to ask for help.

Even though I write about it here on these pages, even though I practically PREACH about how important it is to stay in touch with the meetings and with a sponsor, I isolated myself and took a serious nosedive.

Why? Because I was afraid. I was afraid to tell my sponsor something about myself. I was afraid of how she might react when she knew this information, because I thought maybe she wouldn’t like me anymore. It wasn’t even 5th step material, it was just about WHO I AM, what I do, how I operate on a day-to-day basis. And I was scared shitless.

I was so clueless about what was going on that it took my therapist to point it out to me on Tuesday. It was part of an innocent conversation I had had with my sponsor a week ago Saturday, and I had left something out. Something small, but important to who I am. This morning I met with her (my sponsor) and we talked it through.

All those fears were unfounded. Just as she promised before, she loves me unconditionally. 😀 She takes me as I am.

How about that? Sometimes wisdom is hard fought, and comes from falling flat on my face before I reach out for a hand up.

Where is your wisdom “meter” at? From a 1-10, how wise are you today . . . 1 being “Oh man, I need serious help!” to 10 being “Call up the Dalai Lama, we may have a replacement!”? 😉

Peace out.

V is for Value

When I was a child my value was tied up in what my parents thought of me, whether my family thought well of me. My father was sick, an alcoholic, so his thinking was affected. He did the best he could at the time.

I’m not terminally unique. Most of us come with some sort of baggage from our childhood. Maybe it’s an alcoholic home, maybe it’s something else, or maybe we grew up in a Leave it to Beaver home and our problem is trying to be too perfect.

The point is we all start with our beginning value from somewhere. It changes and morphs from there, depending on our life experiences, who we know, the people we choose to spend time with and love, and the messages we take into our hearts.

I have been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for many years in my adult life, from the time I was about 27 until just about two years ago, when we bought Lucy, and when I started on Neurontin for my bipolar disorder.

What keeps me steady now? I’m not sure it’s any one thing. I believe it’s a combination of things. Lucy needs me, that’s sure and steady. The Neurontin has been a life-saver in more ways than one, taking care of three symptoms besides balancing my emotions. At Al-Anon I learn that what I have to say matters, that I have a voice . . . and, of course, the best sponsor in the whole wide world. 😉

Do you know that you’re valued in this world? Do you know that someone thinks you are special, just because you are you? I hope so, because it’s true!

U is for Understanding

NOTE: I’m so sorry that I’m behind. Please forgive me. I really want to finish the contest. I’ll catch up later tonight and tomorrow morning. I’m not used to writing every day and it has SO stretched and made me grow! ~~

The last line of the Al-Anon suggested closing goes like this: “…let the understanding, love, and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.”  Then we usually stand as a group and recite the Our Father, or some choose to say the Serenity prayer.

Yesterday, at the noon meeting, we had two newcomers. When that happens, I forget all about my fear in sharing. I forget about not knowing what I’m going to say when it’s my turn. I stop comparing myself to other people.

Something just takes over. I like to think of it as God speaking for me. I truly understand what it’s like to be new, to just walk into Al-Anon because you don’t know where else to turn. I understand feeling like someone has gotten on your very last nerve and you are truly going to lose it at any moment, or HAVE lost it too many times to count. I understand feeling like your prayers aren’t even being heard any longer.

I understand not wanting to get out of bed in the morning because it takes just too much energy to put your feet on the ground or even to lift your head from the pillow. I understand counting bottles and checking a loved one’s breath to see if she’s been drinking. I understand waiting up and worrying, checking hospitals and police stations. I’ve been there. I truly have, and I’ve done all that.

I understand RESENTING having to be at an Al-Anon meeting because “Why should I have to be here if I don’t have a problem?? It’s the alcoholic that has a problem!! Not me!” YES, I understand that too. You are not alone.

In Al-Anon it’s hard to shock people because each and everyone has a story similar to tell.

Peace out.

T is for Think

The slogan “think” used to puzzle me. I mean, isn’t it my “stinking thinking” that gets me into trouble more times than not? So how could “think” be a good thing? Then I broke it down. Is it:

T – true?

H – helpful?

I – inspirational?

N – necessary?

K – kind?

Whatever I’m about to say, or do, I need to stop and ask myself if it is ALL of those things.

Am I always successful? 😦 Not hardly. But with that as my guide, I’m getting there. And I’m more successful today than I was in the past. I’m able to catch myself at negativity more quickly. I’m able to do a 10th step and make amends more quickly as a result of the “think” principle in my life.

Peace out.

 

S is for Secrets

In both AA and Al-Anon, we are only as sick as our secrets. And yet, as a kid growing up in a family of alcoholism, I was taught to KEEP secrets. I learned to be sick.

Alcoholism is like a tornado. It’s like a tidal wave. You can feel it coming, but there’s not much you can do to prepare for it, and it brings lots of things in its wake. It can bring verbal, physical, sexual abuse, actual physical illness, financial debt, jail, infidelity, and even death.

Some of these problems can be so embarrassing, so intimidating, that we don’t dare talk about them. But until we bring them into the light, until we share the secrets, we can’t truly heal and they keep us trapped.

We find it is best to share our secrets with someone we can trust, someone who understands the disease of alcoholism. No matter how hopeless, different, or ashamed we may feel, there are usually Al-Anon members who have been through similar problems and are willing to listen and help.

Usually when I most want to hide out with my secrets, that’s probably the time I most need to get out and share them with others. Just like when I need to get my butt to a meeting. 🙂 When I’m facing a tough situation, help me to remember that God speaks through other people. I don’t have to face it alone.

Peace out.

 

R is for Relapse Prevention

Relapse during recovery doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over a period of time and can be as sneaky and insidious as the disease of codependency itself. It requires an awareness and a dedication to WANTING to stay well.

It ain’t easy. I came close the past week myself.

Tools to help aid in relapse prevention include all but are not limited to the following:

Meetings: This I can’t stress strongly enough. One of the first signs of relapse, for me, is wanting to isolate. I missed several of my regular meetings this past week, and I’m feeling it. I feel blah, stressed, “out of it”, not connected (oh really?), alone, lonely, and resentful. I know exactly why I started isolating, but that doesn’t make it any better. The only solution is to GET MY BUTT to a meeting, which I did yesterday, and am doing again tonight.

Meetings provide a much needed connection so we know we are not alone. They provide structure for us to share our stories, and get strength and hope to carry on. We can fellowship with other members before the meeting or after for coffee.

When I DON’T want to go to a meeting, that’s usually mostly when I know I NEED to get there. The urge to isolate is strong within me, and I have to fight it tooth and nail. Once I get there, I know I’ll feel better. It’s like – like an umbrella in the pouring rain, or that first cup of java in the morning. Nothing compares. 🙂

Sponsorship: It’s important to find the right fit in a sponsor, and there’s nothing wrong with having a temporary one, or even firing your first sponsor when you feel s/he is not right for you. “Fire” is such a strong word. When I ASK someone to be a sponsor, I don’t feel I have the right to FIRE them. But that’s the terminology.

Anyway.

Keeping in touch with my sponsor, whether it’s by phone or email, is crucial. I usually see her at meetings during the week, and we get together on Wednesday, except I begged off this past week (again, ISOLATING).

Literature: There is so much recovery literature to keep a person connected in between meetings. Between the Big Book of Al-Anon, Hope for Today, One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, and Courage to Change (just to name a few), there is absolutely no reason to fall into a funk of old ways and old thinking.

Telephone: Self-explanatory. Pick it up. Use it. Use the phone lists you have from meetings. I don’t use this when I isolate, and that’s a big mistake.

One day at a time. Right?

Peace out. 🙂

Q is for Quintessential

And now for something totally different! Please forgive me for straying from me theme of the month today, but I couldn’t resist a chance to speak about this. 😛

The quintessential MAN is a television CHARACTER, Robert Goren, from a Law and Order spin off, Criminal Intent. This picture is taken from the scene where his partner, Alex Eames, is forced to fire Goren (because he is a “liability”) just before she might be promoted to Chief of Detectives. The last scene of the episode shows her placing her badge and firearm on the desk and placing a call, saying the job wasn’t for her.

Okay, okay. I admit it. Robert Goren is easy on the eyes. At least, to ME he is. He could knock on my door any day now. REALLY. . . . wouldn’t know what to say, but! It’s a good thing my imagination stays in the character of Robert Goren, because he’s single, very complicated and VERY unattached. He has issues galore. Vincent D’Onofrio, the actor who plays him however, is quite happily married. Sort of ruins MY happy-ever-after. 😛

Besides being easy on the eyes, Goren is brilliant. No, seriously, he’s a mind-numbing genius. He knows things the NORMAL person has no business knowing, and even would make Alex Eames hair curl, which would be a feat for the petite blond. Goren is frequently able to recall pieces of information that may seem obscure but prove to be incredibly relevant to the case. He can speak different languages, particularly German, and the episode “Silencer”, implies that he is proficient in American sign language. Additionally, he has an acute sense of smell that discloses details even a forensics investigator might miss.

Robert O. Goren was born on August 20, 1961 (one year older than ME!), and grew up in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, near The Rockaways. A phenomenally bright young man, he took the MMPI in his senior year of high school and was sent to speak with the school counselor and school psychiatrist as a result. He played basketball as a youth and was the power forward on his junior varsity basketball team, but quit when he “lost his love for the game.”

Goren’s mother Frances first started showing symptoms of schizophrenia when Goren was seven years old. Frances’ husband, whom Goren had believed to be his father (see “Mark Ford Brady” section below), gambled frequently on horse races and was a serial adulterer. He left Goren’s mother when Goren was eleven, making little effort to stay close to the family. In season 2, a personal friend of Goren’s mentions a funeral, implying that Goren’s stepfather had passed away before the series began.

There’s a LOT more to this incredible character, but you have to watch the repeats to really get to know Robert Goren. And if a picture doesn’t say a thousand words, and pull you into his baby blues… you’re invincible!!

Peace out.

 

Q Post

Today’s Q post will be late due to a very busy day and oversleeping! 😛 Please tune in tomorrow for Q and R. 🙂

Peace out.

P is for Prayer

Prayer is important to me, but I don’t do it as much as I should. I pray for people who need prayer, and I pray prayers of thanksgiving when prayers are answered, but I don’t just meditate on God’s goodness, or spend time with Him. That’s uncomfortable for me. It’s something I need to work on.

The two most crucial “formal” prayers for me, are the Serenity prayer and the Our Father. Yesterday I mentioned the importance of the Serenity prayer in my life, and how often I pray it. I use it for simple things, like trying to accept the fact that my Kindle hangs up when I underlines something and doesn’t go back to the page directly, so I have to wait until it “unfreezes” and goes on to the next page.

There I sit, with my Kindle, praying that first line, and it all starts with God. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… because I know I can’t change Amazon’s Kindle. It’s the second Kindle I’ve owned, the first being the one I sent back because of the same problem. So I know it’s something I have to just accept. But I pray for serenity, because it’s not an easy thing.

I use it with more difficult things, as I try to accept that the alcoholic in my life might have brain damage as she recovers from this last bout of drinking. She’s going to be 63 years old, has been drinking more on than off, since the age of 16, and life is catching up. Her body is tired. I pray, on my knees, sometimes just the first three words. Because this is harder. God, grant me. 

Courage to change the things I can. I have come to understand that I have a sugar addiction, so I have started attending Overeaters Anonymous, trying to get a handle on that. Well, it’s a very recent understanding, mind you, so I have only attended one meeting. Sugar is in almost everything we eat, and it will be really tough, but it’s doable. Stevia is natural and a good substitute. It also doesn’t trigger a sugar binge; at least that’s what I’ve read and heard. Giving up my Peace Tea (Imported Ceylon flavor) is going to be most difficult, as it has (count ’em) 12 GRAMS of sugar per serving and 3 servings per 1 can. I drink about 3 cans a day. Yep, that’s a lot of sugar, and that’s only from tea. *shaking my head* God grant me courage…

Wisdom, I’ve heard tell from around the tables, comes at the expense of falling flat on your face and learning otherwise. LOL Yes, wisdom comes from making mistakes. That’s how we learn the difference between knowing the things we have to accept and the things we can change. It’s experience, an old teacher. 😉 Yes, I’ve had some wisdom. And I’m sure I’ll get more along the way.

Peace out.

 

O is for Obedience to a Higher Power

In Al-Anon, which is based very closely on AA, we learn to trust in a higher power fairly quickly, or we are lost. In fact, Step Two says Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step Three says Turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Twelve-step programs are spiritual, rather than religious. In fact, the traditions and concepts specifically point that out, that we do not promote nor discriminate against any religion, denomination, etc. It is not only my opinion that many people in Al-Anon would be scared off and not come if they were forced to believe in the God I believe in (for I choose to call my higher power God).

Some people choose to the other tables, nature, or the Big Book of Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous as their higher power. All of this is fine and good, and no one would dare to dispute them, for who can say what works for another human being? Some individuals have been the targets of religious abuse before they enter the doors of a 12-step program. The last thing they need is someone telling them what to believe in.

For myself, it’s an evolving process. Though I believed in the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) before I entered Al-Anon), I did not have a close relationship with God as Father. I’m still working on it. It’s a trust issue, and it’s because I compare Him too much to the father of my growing up years. Even though I know in my head and heart it doesn’t make sense, when I’m hurt and needing to run to Him, I run away instead. When I know I should obey, when everything in my body screams to me that I’ve got to do it, my stubborn will still gets in the way, and it takes me a while before I get there.

My sponsor and I talked about what it meant, action-wise, to turn our will and our lives, on a daily basis. She said for her this meant flossing her teeth. It’s the made a decision part of the 3rd step. She decided that if she does something like that, takes care of a part of her body daily that she really doesn’t want to, but she knows that God cares about, she’s turning over her will to Him – even if just a little part – on a daily basis. She’s meeting Him a little way, and He will take care of the rest.

So I thought of something I can do. I’m a notorious slob. Truly. And I have a great car. Tweety-bird. Yeah. A screaming yellow Ford Focus. I begged my brother Greg to find it for me used and I swore I’d never smoke in it or get it messy. About three months later I was smoking in it, a month later it was trashed. 😦 I think obedience and turning over my will to God would look like . . . cleaning my car and keeping it clean on a daily basis. To start out I can just clean the front seat – yeah, it’s that bad. 😛

Do you have a higher power? What does obedience to your higher power look like for you? Is it a daily thing?

N is for Nervousness

It never fails. Nervousness crushes me, threatens to overtake me, even in my own home, in the privacy of my OWN BLOG.

I try to talk myself out of the nerves, like – what’s the worst that could happen? If I say something stupid, write something utterly ridiculous, so what? I sound stupid, I look ridiculous . . . would I be the first person to ever sound or look that way? I doubt it.

We’re only human. But we forget that when stuck in the grip of some overpowering emotion, don’t we?

What makes you nervous or anxious, or are you a cool cucumber? 😉 If so, let me know what makes you tick!!

M is for Measure

A measure is a gauge or a standard which we can use to take stock, sometimes, of our lives.

I found this AL-ANON SELF TEST at Sober Recovery. It hits all the high marks, and is very good. I hope you’ll find it helpful:

Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following twenty questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:1.Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?

2.Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?

3.Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?

4.Do you feel that if the drinker loved you, he or she would stop drinking, to please you?

5.Do you blame the drinker’s behavior on his or her companions?

6.Are plans frequently upset, or cancelled, or meals delayed because of the drinker?

7.Do you make threats, such as, “If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave you”?

8.Do you secretly try to smell the drinker’s breath?

9.Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?

10.Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?

11.Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?

12.Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?

13.Do you search for hidden alcohol?

14.Do you often ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?

15.Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?

16.Do you sometimes feel like a failure when you think of the lengths you have gone to control the drinker?

17.Do you think that, if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?

18.Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?

19.Do you feel angry, confused or depressed most of the time?

20.Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to three or more of these questions, Al-Anon (with Al-Ateen) may help.

L is for Laughter

When I attend an Al-Anon meeting, I will usually hear laughter at least once or twice while everyone settles in, and then during the sharing itself – even through tears sometimes!

It still surprises me, and I’ve discussed this with my sponsor. How can people in so much distress on one hand be LAUGHING and joyous? It didn’t make sense to me! I couldn’t find anything to laugh about. There was nothing funny about my situation, thankyouverymuch.

And I was, of course, supremely unique. 😉

When I listen to AA open talks there is much laughter, and at those points I’M thinking, “That wasn’t funny at all. What was so funny about that?”

It’s about perspective of course, and having some distance from the situation you are in. Laughter is also closely related to crying, which is why sometimes we can “laugh until we cry.” There is the thought that, given the choice, it’s better to laugh than cry, which could be why I hear so much of it around the meetings.

Recently, when sharing at a Sunday meeting, I guess I forgot myself and made a joke while talking. Everyone started to laugh. WITH me, not at me. Which loosened me up more, and made me see the humor in my situation. It was a very good thing. 😀

Generally, laughter is my great friend. I love to laugh. Just lately, it’s been tough to see humor in everything. You know?

Things that make me laugh: Lucy, puppies, babies, myself, a well-delivered joke . . .

What makes you laugh?

K is for Kindred Spirits

Kindred is both a noun and an adjective. As a noun it means “a group of persons related to another; a family.” As an adjective . . . well, let me tell you what it means to me, in terms of some very specific relationships.

I don’t talk to a lot of people. What I mean is, I don’t have a lot of online messenger friends. There is one person I chat with on an almost daily basis, and feel my life would be missing a little beat if I didn’t. She seems to get me, and I hope I give enough back that she understands how much it means.

She’s kindred to me. She’s a writer, I pretend to be one. 😉 She loves to read, so do I. We both own dogs with human names. We have VERY similar tastes in things funny or ironic.  We’re also very caring people by nature, and it shows in the things we do in our own separate lives. YES, I realize I called myself caring, and if you know me at all you know I’m not being arrogant, that it was probably a Freudian slip or something I’ll take back again in about five minutes. 😛

Another kindred spirit in my life is, of course, my sponsor. When we met yesterday for our weekly Panera chat we both confessed that each of us knows more about the other than our own sisters!  We also have dogs, oddly enough, hers is named for a human as well. What’s up with that, anyway? Do we all secretly wish our animals could talk? I know I do. 😀 Anyway, there are too many things to say about my sponsor here, and I talk enough about her. You all must be bored to tears already.

Do you have a kindred spirit? How did you meet? What’s the best thing you have in common?

J is for Java!

 

While I still drink my daily java without fail, I used to be a coffee connoisseur. I belonged to two different clubs, Gevalia and Boca Java, and still managed to squeeze in daily trips to my favorite joints, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

Coffee has had an interesting history in the world, as well as in my own life. I started drinking it in high school as a way to get closer to my dad. I don’t remember what kind of coffee we drank then, I just know I drank it with lots of cream and sugar. 😉 That’s also when I started smoking (although he didn’t know THAT), but – it’s all making sense to me now.

I like the whole ritual of coffee. I like making it, although I don’t like grinding my own beans, probably because I don’t like the mess of having to clean up the coffee grinder afterwards. 😛 I love the sound it makes as it’s percolating in the coffee maker, so I wouldn’t like those one-cup pod-makers, or whatever they’re called. Oooh, and the smell, it’s enough to drive me over the edge. I like it hot, hot – I don’t like to wait for it to cool even just a little before I take a sip. And I absolutely LOVE the jolt I get to my senses as it first hits my blood stream, travels up to my brain, and goes down to my stomach.

Plus, I love to share my love of coffee. Whether it’s at a meeting, where there are bound to be other caffeine addicts, at home with my mother, or visiting with a sibling or friend, coffee is not something to be savored in isolation, not for me. It is a thing to be relished in the warm company of another.

My dear mother, who will be turning 85 this year, has lost her ability to smell and discern coffee tastes. So we made a team decision that it would be best to cancel our memberships in Gevalia and Boca Java. If Mom can’t taste those expensive coffees anymore, and I don’t want to enjoy them without her, why pay for them? What she DOES like, and can taste, is simple Maxwell House. I like it too.

So, to all the coffee snobs out there (oh no, not you! 😉 ), sometimes the company we keep is more important than the type of coffee we drink.

Enjoy your cup o’ joe today!

Peace out.

 

I is for Isolation

One of my favorite movies of all-time is Cool Hand Luke, as well as the novel by the same title. I used to quote lines from the movie during an argument, especially Strother Martin’s famous “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

But one of the haunting memories I can’t shake is the count at the end of the day. The second boss, or whatever he’s called, calls out the count, and at the conclusion, he says, ” . . .and one in ‘the box.'” The box was short for icebox, or a form of isolation, a punishment. It sat away from the the prison barracks, and was barely large enough to fit the prisoner standing and sitting, along with a bucket for him to relieve himself.

The sun beat down during the day, heating up the box so that it would have been much hotter even than it was outside.

Alcatraz, the famous prison now closed in California, had prisoners sent to “the hole”, a sensory-deprivation chamber located on D-Block. In psychiatric hospitals, when a patient is considered out of control, unsafe to himself or others, she is taken to a “quiet room.” It usually includes: a bed, padded walls, and absolutely nothing with which to harm oneself.

Why did I start the post this way? As a contrast I suppose. Some people practice self-imposed isolation. As a child, I practiced isolation as a matter of surviving a chaotic and unpredictable time.  I hid in my closet, or made myself scarce in other ways. Books, writing, and TV became my very best friends.

But as I grew up and got into high school and then college, this pull (and it’s . . . like a muscle memory, I really fight against it) toward isolation came at me again and again. It wouldn’t work if I wanted to make friends, even less if I wanted to keep them.

Just recently I read The Introverts Bill of Rights, and realized that’s TOTALLY me. So it makes sense that I’m wiped out after a social event. It’s OKAY that I need down time after I visit with a friend or after something particularly intense. There’s even a right in there about parking near the get-away, which I’ve always done, and I thought I was the only person who did that!! 😀 😀

So what about you? Have you discovered something about yourself that surprised you? Do you isolate, or are you a closet introvert? 😉

Go, seize the day.

Peace out.

H is for Honesty

As you may have noticed when you happened onto my page this lovely morning, things have changed around here. When I first began blogging, I thought my blog was going to be about knitting and writing, with some posts thrown in here and there to reflect my Al-Anon journey.

Since I’m going through the Blueprint for Progress with a small group of women, which involves the 4th step adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, I have to get real about this blog.

It’s an Al-Anon blog, with some posts here and there about knitting and reading, writing, stuff like that. As I made this decision, I understood the fearless aspect of getting honest for the first time. Well, not really. I’m still afraid I’ll lose readership. You see how I have to beat off the comments as it is now. 😉

But I like the new feel, the new look. It’ll have pages added to it, as I get off my lazy butt and put them in. But for now, what you see is what you get. By the way, Route 66 no longer exists, except in a historical preservation sense. It’s in one state (can’t remember the name now) and it leads nowhere, just a nice scenic drive.

That is a bit of a metaphor for what I want for you, gentle reader, and me. I want to take the scenic way home. I want this to be a long trip, and – will you stay with me?

Oh. Time for a meeting.

Peace out.

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