From Carol

B is for Blaming

My sister’s three children, who are grown adults now — the eldest is forty, and the younger two are in their late thirties — like to blame her for the way their lives are now, drawing on countless stories of a “horrific” childhood raised by a sometimes absent practicing alcoholic. This is always heartbreaking for Carol but she has learned to say “Goodbye, I’m hanging up now,” when it gets redundant and too difficult.  I’m sure their childhoods were indeed difficult, but at what point does one say, “What’s happening in my life now is up to me. These are my choices. No one…

The Anxiety-Exhaustion Tango

Sometimes, I’m surprisingly tired in the evenings before I go to sleep and I have to stop and figure out why. With generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (just being the anxiety issues), it’s a lot to sort through. Usually, if it’s not a physical reason, if it’s not because I’ve helped someone move their apartment that day or something else equally taxing, I know it has to do with anxiety and emotions. So then I sift through my day. When I was in high school my sister moved back home with her three young children…

Changes

I got an interesting email from WordPress in which told me they “missed me.” You and I both know that’s propaganda-esque crap, but the stats show people still visit my site even when I don’t write, which hasn’t been for months. The problem is, I’ve changed a lot in that time. I don’t want to write about the same things. I’m not the same person anymore. I don’t go to Al-Anon, I hardly whine about my sister and nephew anymore, and it’s just not on my radar. They live in Ann Arbor, and I don’t see them often enough that they are…

Putting On That Other Pair Of Shoes

Gentle readers, I’ve been trying and trying to write this blog, wanting it to be gentle and light, to bring you good vibes so you’ll come back and keep reading. But my mind and heart are heavy with all the colossal blunders I’m making that I keep wanting to slough off onto my illness. A mixed episode of bipolar disorder is nothing to laugh about. It’s like a modern version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My loved ones never know who they’re going to be speaking to from one minute to the next. Until I got into Al-Anon, I…

Love Yourself Through the Process

When I saw this cartoon it made me laugh so hard, and I was drinking coffee at the time. 😀 Then I realized it’s all about expectations and how what we think about things make them difficult. I hope that makes some sense. We dive into recovery and expect so damn much from ourselves from day one. God forbid we don’t meet those expectations. So when we can learn to laugh at ourselves it’s f***ing fantastic!! When I told the brilliant Dr. Walker this morning (therapist) that it wasn’t fun making paper cranes anymore, and I told him the whole story about…

There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

My sister and I are more alike than we are different, and sometimes this makes us competitive, even—I have recently learned, in our respective illnesses. We each grew up with an abusive, hard-working, hard-drinking father. My shostra (sister, in Polish) is 13 years my senior, and she grew up in the 60’s, a turbulent, changing, experimental decade. The way we each dealt with our abuse was different. Carol turned to drugs and alcohol. Me, the ever helpful codependent, did my best to help her stay sick and keep the rest of the family intact until I was in my late…

The Fine Art of Letting Go

In my last post I said I was going to write about the worry over my mom and my sister. I also said I was going to write it the next day. Now you know not to trust anything I say. 😉 But seriously, I went to an amazing meeting this morning. And it wasn’t just because it was called the Sunday morning Amazing Grace Al-Anon meeting, either. We read from today’s reading in Hope for Today, and what I heard most of all was about letting go. Boy, do I need to let go. I’ve been ashamed to talk about this here,…

C is for Comparison

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. –Dr. Seuss Taking care of ourselves also involves just trying to BE ourselves. That’s easier said than done. We see billboards and commercials for thinner, better versions of the people we’d like to be. For the record, I count our own mirrored images as distorted comparisons as well. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 13.8 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures (both surgical and minimally-invasive) were performed in the U.S. in 2011, up 5% since 2010. Also 5.5 million reconstructive plastic surgery…

You did NOT just say that!

Okay. I know for a fact that how we say things is just as important if not more important than what we say. I’ve been attending these lectures on alcoholism and have been learning better ways of communicating, how to express “I Statements.” (Stay with me for a minute, here, I know this is technical but it’s important for later on.) There are three steps to an I Statement: 1. State very specifically what behavior led to your feeling. 2. State what you are feeling. 3. Explain the consequences of the behavior for you. In correct usage, it might look…

intro to me

I’m a writer, but that’s a separate journal. This journal is a place for me to vent, to talk about what the heck is going on in my life, and to figure things out. I’ve been told by some that I’m the most functional in a very dysfunctional family, which is saying a helluva lot, since I struggle with borderline personality, bipolar, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Lots of times I’ll just be ranting, and if it helps you, I’m happy. I certainly don’t want to add to anyone else’s angst.  Carol (my sister) drank yesterday. She’s an alcoholic. She turned…