From July, 2012

Six Steps To Break The Cycle Of Codependency!

Ever feel like you are handcuffed to the person next to you, or stuck in a situation you can’t get out of? That’s codependency. Here are some steps that help me, and I hope they might help you as well: 1. Breathe.  I’m a notorious shallow breather, which doesn’t help my anxiety. Remember to breathe deeply, from the diaphragm. It makes everything a little easier.  And it can’t hurt to say the Serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”…

Gratitude – Because There’s Always Something

I am grateful for so many things today. –we got three days in a row of much needed rain, including a flash flood —it’s sunny and beautiful today –I got to enjoy some out of town family for about a week, which was awesome –I see my therapist today, and I’m truly grateful for her in my life –I emailed the Samaritans in the wee hours, and they actually replied back this morning. Who would have thunk? –my doc is going to see me once a week when my T is on vacation at the end of August –there are,…

Standing In My Own Space – And Loving It!

“Standing with my arms extended and turning in a full circle gives me a visual marker of my responsibility. If it doesn’t come into my space, I leave it alone.”–Hope For Today, p. 209. I love this quote. It reminds me of the “hula hoop” metaphor I’ve heard talked about at tables. Place a hula hoop around yourself, then drop it. Okay, so you’re standing in the center of the hula hoop. Whatever falls within the hula hoop is your business; whatever happens outside the hula hoop doesn’t concern you. LOVE that. It has helped me so much! This past…

Accepting Change

Wednesday was a difficult day for me, and I thought I had lost all the ground I had previously gained in Al-Anon and then some. That was the day we picked up my sister from jail, and subsequently spent 11 hours in the car driving her around, back and forth from her probation officer to different places, only to have doors slammed in our faces and told to go back here or there . . . I admit, I lost my cool a time or two. I don’t do freeway driving well, and I had to listen to Stella (my…

Happy – One Day At A Time

Through working the steps of Al-Anon, I’m learning that I am lovable, regardless of what anyone else thinks, and that happiness is a daily choice. Happiness is risky. But as I begin to recover from the effects of alcoholism in my life, it’s worth it. It’s not enough just to avoid being let down. I want a life filled with joy and happiness as well as the inevitable sadness. I crave excitement; I’m an excitement junkie. But this time on MY terms, not on the roller coaster hump of the alcoholic. You know? I won’t let my fear of being…

How do you react?

Sat at an “envelope” meeting this morning, which is where people pass around an envelope at the table and each person picks out a little piece of paper, and whatever is on the paper is what you talk about. It may be a step, a slogan, or what have you. It was absolutely one of the best tables I’ve sat at in a long time. Not necessarily because of what my piece of paper read, or because of what I talked about, but because of what the woman, Marty, said next to me. “Our first reaction is our disease, and…

More Will Be Revealed

I’ve heard “more will be revealed” at meetings, and have read it in the Big Book, but it has never been as meaningful until right now. My need to control can show itself as a need to know exactly what’s going on, all the time. We cannot always know. Sometimes, I need to let things be and trust that clarity will come later, in looking back. Just like in this painting, I see exactly what I need to see . . . for now. It’s okay. It’s already okay. If it doesn’t make perfect sense now, it’s not supposed to.…

Feeling Blue? Some Things To Do!

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why. –unknown Ever have one of those days where you just feel down and blue for no real reason you can pinpoint? Or maybe you know the reasons but you don’t want to talk about it. Guess what? I’ve been there. I think we all have. These are some things I do when I’m feeling blue, and maybe they will help you: 1. Play with the irrepressible Lucy. Lucy is my dog, as most of you know. Just cuddling…

Steps to Success; How Sweet It Is!

How sweet it is, indeed!! Sunday afternoon I went to something called The Irregular Writing Meetup of the Mid-Michigan Prose and Writing Group. It was called Irregular because it normally meets on Tuesday nights in Ann Arbor. A factoid about me: I have a touch of social phobia. So lots of times, I desperately want to do things, but I find myself unable. So far, there had been three times I keyed in yes I would be to the Tuesday night meetup, and hadn’t showed, out of nightmarish fear. What changed this time? 1. I asked for help. I told my friends on FaceBook and my therapist and my…

The Curious Paradox

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. (Carl Rogers). At this morning’s Al-Anon meeting, the topic of the table was about being powerless. I knew all about the powerlessness over the alcoholic, over other people, places, and things. This I had come face-to-face with many times. But then someone at the table mentioned being powerless over her own self, and it felt like all the air been sucked right out of me. That’s it! That’s what I’ve been feeling over the last couple of weeks. Powerless over myself. But how can that be?…

Calm In The Middle Of The Storm

“Serenity isn’t freedom from the storms of  life. It’s the calm in the middle of the storm that gets me through. It’s up to me to try to keep this calm, even when the storm gets worse.” -Alateen–a day at a time, p. 30 This picture, and this quote, are so perfect for the topic of the day, which is of course, serenity. Serenity manifests itself in several ways for me. When I need that calm in the middle of the storm, these are the places I go/things I do/people I seek: 1. Pray. I often think it’s not always the first thing…

Book Review: Though The Bud Be Bruised

What would you do if you found a note written by your daughter saying she had been sexually molested by a member of your church, a friend of the family? This is the terrible truth and problem that Issy and her parents, Zara and Sam Heymer must face as Christians. Though The Bud Be Bruised, by Jo Wanmer: 2012, Even Before Publishing, a Division of Wombat Books. ISBN: 978-1-922074-07-2. Amazon link: Though The Bud Be Bruised. This book is based on a true story, and it is not an easy read. What I mean to say is, it is about a young…

The Easy Way Or The True-To-Yourself Way?

Sometimes the limited choices we have can make us feel as if we’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Try and imagine the following situations, and think of how you would honestly respond: The telephone rings. You answer it before checking the caller I.D. It’s your alcoholic loved one.  “I need a ride to get cigarettes/to get to a meeting/to get groceries/to get to my doctor appointment. I wouldn’t bother you, except I’ve tried everyone I know.” You know she’s had her car taken away due to four DUI’s but also know she lies and manipulates. “Will you…

Making Change

Making change is hard. It takes determination, focus, and trust in a Higher Power. This morning, as I was sitting outside talking to my Super Sponsor on the phone, we made a date for tomorrow to have lunch, I hung and started to dial my sister to tell her about it. It took me almost a full minute to remember she’s in jail and I can’t call her. MAKING CHANGE IS HARD. IT TAKES DETERMINATION, FOCUS, AND TRUST IN A HIGHER POWER.  As I was sitting there, waiting for my heart to stop aching, an illustration came to me about…

Freedom Is Accepting Yourself Right Where You’re At

A few posts ago I declared myself a fraud and think I also said something about being worthless, perhaps. I would like takesies-backsies on both of those. Since then, I have spoken with both my Al-Anon super sponsor, and my therapist, Heather, and they have helped me learn something valuable. I thought I was a fraud because the nearly year-long time I had spent going to Al-Anon had only gone into my head-sense, but had not traveled the 12 or so inches to my heart. Both my super sponsor and my T. heartily disagreed, and I have to say I…

Five Steps To Knowing Yourself Better

Yesterday we talked about how there can be a disconnect when dealing with codependency. A disconnect within ourselves, with who we are, what our own needs, emotions, and feelings are. Today, I would like to present five ways to get to know ourselves better. There are, of course, many ways. These are just five to get you started: 1 Make collages: Any magazines will do. Family Circle, Redbook, Vogue, Cosmo, to name a few. Sit down on the floor or at a table with several magazines spread around and a pair of scissors. Then flip through the pages and cut out…

Who Do You Think You Are?

When we spend our lives, or the majority of them, obsessing about another person – namely a relative or friend who is alcoholic – we lose pieces of ourselves until we no longer no who we are. We become so enmeshed with the other person we forget where they end and we begin. This is also called codependency, and it affects millions of people around the globe. We become numb to our feelings, oblivious to our own needs, unable to name our emotions. When I watched my sister sentenced, handcuffed, and taken away to jail on Tuesday, I didn’t cry. Nor…

Seven Signs You Aren’t Taking Care of YOU

When we live with or love an alcoholic, when we are a parent, or a wife, a co-worker, a small business owner, and on and on, it can become very easy to put others first in our lives. Sometimes it becomes so easy the lines get blurred and we lose ourselves in the process. Here, for your light-hearted Friday before Friday the 13th, are seven signs you aren’t taking care of yourself: 1. When your feet hit the floor after you get out of bed, your first thought is of someone else. Yes, maybe you have children to feed, a husband…

Seven Steps to Change When That’s The Last Thing You Want

It’s the truth. Change isn’t easy. Ask the caterpillar who morphs into a beautiful butterfly. He spends all the time in a cocoon. No one asked him if he wanted to become a beautiful butterfly. Did they? He just became one, over time. We don’t really have a choice, either. We change, or stagnate. Things that stagnate become stale, foul, sluggish, and dull. If you really hate change, like some of us do, here are seven steps to help you get through in roughly one piece 😉 : 1. Put your worries in a God Box. Or a cookie jar, or whatever works…

Insecure Writers Unite!

Often I wish I were already famous, like Hemingway, or Fitzgerald. I wonder how they would have dealt with family problems. Would they let it stop their writing cold, or would they just plow full steam ahead, as if nothing had happened? Last month was a difficult month for me. I got zero done on my WIP. I did start a new story. It’s based on truth, fictionalized of course. I’m including the very beginning of it here for your perusal and, of course, critique and comments. Barter for a glass of vodka is like a highly-skilled hostage negotiation. I…