From Faith

Performance Anxiety Redux

All right. This is not an apology, this is an explanation. There’s a reason I have been so flaky lately with my posts . . . well, this whole entire month, specifically. Last year, when I tried to crochet Christmas presents, I didn’t start working until like October or even November, and of course didn’t get finished in time. I have a large family. So this year I began in January. So far I have two granny square blankets crocheted. I just have to put them together. I’m working on my third (pictured above) which looks like snowflakes! I have…

Positive Psychology

To prepare for this blog post, I read Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness in two days. It was a pretty major feat for me, since I’m usually a slow reader, especially when it comes to nonfiction material. This book, minus the index pages, notes, and acknowledgements, came to 260 pp. But I was excited about it, especially since my sister had recently begun therapy again with someone who used only positive psychology techniques. She had recommended this book to Carol, and when I tried to get two copies at B&N, they only had one, so I read it as fast as I…

Exposure Is Like A Four-Letter Word

Or at least, it should be, and that’s the word fear. In the book I’m reading about social anxiety disorder, , there is lots of talk about exposure as the main solution to dealing with most anxious and troubling situations. The first part of the book helps one figure out what exactly is distressing and anxiety provoking. It’s all very individual, of course. Then we’re supposed to put it in a hierarchy, like from least anxiety-provoking, to moderately anxiety-provoking to severely anxiety-provoking. I’m just reading this book to read it for now. When I sit down to really look at situations and make a…

Just Relax

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~Chinese proverb Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other times move forward with it. ~Ray Bradbury It seems like everywhere I go people are talking about relaxation these days. My therapist asks me about my stress level, like it’s something that can be quantified, measured on a daily basis.  I probably…

Gambling on Goals

Goals are so crazy popular, aren’t they? I mean, I went looking for one quote on goals for this post, just one, and they were all so contradictory. Some said set your goals high and don’t stop ’til you achieve them. Others said it starts with the spirit, and if that wasn’t true, forget about it. Then there’s the one who says to set small goals and build upon them. So even the meaning of the word goal is somewhat sketchy. I know of a famous, at least famous on my terms, writing website, which has a whole board (forum) dedicated to the topic of goals and the…

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…

Reblog: 21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed, by Rosalind Robertson

I was directed to this on the internet by a friend, and felt it was worth reblogging. It’s a wonderful blog post, and I couldn’t have written it better myself. Please read it, it’s well worth the read. SO well written and expressive, and I don’t even need to mention the important content, do I? 😉 Peace out and be well, my friends.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you…

Have Faith, Dear Reader

Happy New Year! It feels so weird to be saying “Twenty Thirteen” instead of “Two Thousand and Twelve,” but also a lot easier. Although I suppose some people already were saying “Twenty Twelve.” Still, for me it’s something new and amazing. New years often bring new beginnings, new adaptations, and changes. This blog is going to undergo some radical (as in fun, creative, and revolutionary) changes, and I’m hoping you are able to adapt with me. But I have been unhappy for a while and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I realized I was writing mostly to make you the…

Would We Do It All Again, If We Had The Chance?

This is a post for The Christian Writers Blog Chain. This month’s theme is memory. If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of…

It’s August – That Must Mean Step Eight!

Step eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Just a couple things about this step. Some people, in their zeal to “come clean,” list every single person they think they have every harmed, including their children if their feelings got hurt when they were grounded, and things like that. I am not responsible for other peoples’ unfulfilled desires. Simple as that. Other peoples’ expectations are not my responsibility unless I have helped to create them.  Also, willingness is key here. Some people find it helpful to divide their list into three…

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.…

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…

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…

It’s July Already? Step Seven Time!

The 7th step says: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” This is an image of the 3rd Step Prayer Book Marker available at hazelden.org, in their bookstore. On the other side is the 7th step prayer, which reads as follows: My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen. That prayer is taken from…

Seriously, Sometimes You Gotta Laugh

When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other. ~Alan Alda I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. ~Woody Allen Here’s the thing. I’m a perfectionist. I never would have thought of myself that way before yesterday. But when I came home from the Saturday meeting, and Mom wanted to watch a movie on Lifetime with me while I really needed to post to this blog, I almost cried. About a post to a blog! What would I do if I got sick? Post from my sickbed? Seriously. Sometimes you gotta laugh. At the meeting…

Who is Your Higher Power?

Often, when people get to the 2nd step, Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, they are not quite sure what to do. Many (including yours truly) have come from a place where they felt so beaten down they didn’t believe anything or anyone could fix it. I was told “Keep coming back.” So I did. I came. That’s all I could do for a while. I came and got my butt in the chair and I listened. I came and then I came to and then I came to believe.  It’s a process, and it looks different for…

What’s Goin’ On…

  Have you ever just felt like you were going to explode inside? Like you had all these pent up feelings you didn’t know what to do with?  I feel like Mt. Vesuvius ready to blow, and I worry for whomever might be in my path in the next few days. I really want to just get in my car and drive. I mean for a distance, and for a long time, until I’m somewhere I’ve never been where no one knows me and there aren’t any expectations, no one hanging on me for this or that, or rides here…

My God Box

I have a God Box. In it I put things like…peace of mind, acceptance, courage, certain weird prayers. Today I finally put my sister in the God box and I closed it. I generally don’t revisit the God box unless a prayer has been answered, and then I open it to write a thank you to God. Tomorrow is court date. We leave at 12:00, have to be there at 1:30 p.m. Do you have a God Box? What kinds of things do you add to your box? Is it hard for you to leave it closed? Peace out.

It’s ALREADY Okay.

My prayers have been fervent and many of late. At the Al-Anon meeting this morning, I asked for a table on Hope, because I thought that’s what I needed to talk about. The thing about the fellowship, I learn so much more from them than they could ever learn from me. I ended up learning what I need to sustain me during these next difficult days with my sister is faith. I listened to stories around the table about faith, and I wrote things down, but mostly I remembered what God had said to me when I got on my…