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.