From honesty

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…

How I Survived A Life-Threatening Illness

“Change is inevitable We can depend on that. By letting go of our efforts to influence the future, we become freer to experience the present, to feel all of our feelings while they are happening, and to more fully enjoy those precious moments of joy.” –Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon So, you might think, as you read this, that bringing humor to the situation is insanity. But you know me and my sarcastic wit. Would you recognize me any other way? ūüėČ Besides, the alternative is too stupid to consider, and useless. Plus really, who…

“All The World’s A Stage . . . “

I just had to post this anxiety meme, and like larger than life, because as soon as I saw it I laughed so hard I almost choked on my¬†coffee. It’s¬†so totally¬†true. Every time I’m ever with my therapist and we’re talking about something that makes me anxious, or we try to do something on the fear ladder and I get anxious, she immedately goes for the “Okay. start your breathing. Try to take yourself down to at least a three.” Right. I must’ve been breathing wrong before! ¬†If that worked all the time, psychiatrists would be completely out of business.…

Benzodiazepines

Once upon a time, a discovery was begun by a man named Leo Sternbach and finished by a co-worker named Earl Reeder. What he had was a compound which showed¬†very strong sedative,¬†anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant¬†effects. They named it Librium and they introduced it to the world at large in 1960. A few years later, Valium came into being, the one referred to as “Mother’s Little Helper” by the Stones. It is said that “benzos” are most effective if used in the short term, that is for about a month to six weeks. HA. Full disclosure: I take a benzo, and…

Anxiety

is for anxiety. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is the response to a real or imagined threat. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, or unease often not focused on anything in particular and possibly an overreaction to a situation (though not seen that way by the sufferer). It often comes with physical symptoms, such as tension, fatigue, restlessness, and concentration problems.¬† When anxiety gets to be too much it becomes a disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety¬†disorders¬†affect 40 million people in the United States alone (or 18% of the population ).…

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…

The Blogosphere Status-Checking Neurosis

Come on. Admit it. You check your FB status more than a couple times a day, and get a little charge every time somebody “likes” it, or the more the comments pile up. Want some help? Okay. My name is Chris, and I’m a status-checking junkie. In fact, I’m thinking I might close my FB account for good. Have to think some on that. Here, read this quote from¬†Finding God in the Dark: “The blogosphere is reality television for people (conservative Christians) who consider themselves too good for reality television . . . Status updates about perfect playdates or craft…

A Rose by Any Other Name

I’m so incredibly nervous writing this, and at the same time . . . feels like home. I have been completely overwhelmed by the positive responses to my last blog post. Just–flabbergasted, truly. Those lovely comments came on the heels of a little over seven months of severe depression and severe anxiety, which brings me to why it’s been so long since I’ve posted. So many times, when one grows up in an alcoholic family, or any sort of dysfunctional family, it becomes¬†all about¬†the alcoholic for so long, or about the person or sickness that draws the most attention from…

Recovery Never Ends (long post, sorry)

So sorry I have been quiet on here. I have another blog, another passion that has torn me away, Hooker With Yarn, Strings Attached, which is, as you may have guessed, about crochet and all things related to crochet. I have given up my first love, writing, because I’ve decided I’m not good at it, and why torture yourself to try to become something you¬†think¬†you should be? Fiber art is still creative art. It is simply a different medium. But that’s not what this post is about. I just thought you should know that if you don’t see me on…

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? ūüėČ Peace out and be well, my friends.¬† ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet ‚Äď the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you…

The Problem and The Answer

I’m not often speechless. It’s not usually hard for me to know what to say, but writing in this blog has been so hard for me lately, and that’s not like me. It’s like I feel like I’m supposed to have the “answers,” as if 1) there are certain answers one has to follow as a member of Al-Anon and 2) I know them. Let’s get a couple things squared away. The only “answers” I really know in Al-Anon are told to me (either through the other members, the big book of Al-Anon, my sponsor, whatever) by my higher power.…

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…

Tomorrow Can Wait

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. ~Buddha Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat? ~Goldie Hawn Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson Okay, I’ve posted a lot about One Day At A Time, but . . . well I guess it’s because I think for me it’s one of the core parts of the Al-Anon program. And today I really need…

Being Bold, Bad, And Beautiful!

So sorry I haven’t been posting a while. Haven’t been well, almost had to go into the hospital, my doctor had to change a bunch of my meds, and on top of that I’m in a senior choral production of Broadway show tunes. So I have been very busy, very sad but with that fine-fine face that I know some of you will know what I’m talking about. However, that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. Some kind of transformation has taken place in me through all this, you know, “stuff.” It’s made me stronger, braver, and not…

To Avoid or Not To Avoid – Need Help!

“Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you.” –Aldous Huxley I hope you are awake, Gentle Readers, because I need your advice this morning. There is an anniversary celebration at my “home” Al-Anon meeting, the Peace at the End of the Road meeting this morning. There will be a breakfast followed by an Al-Anon speaker, an AA speaker, and an Al-Ateen speaker. I’m psyched about it. Except for one thing. The Al-Anon speaker will be Karen, and she’s someone who REALLY hurt my feelings at a non-al-anon function, trying to “school”…

Change Through Spontaneity!

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a planner. I don’t like surprises. And it was a huge step for me when I invited my ubersponsor over yesterday morning for tea (or coffee, whatever she wanted). Everything was set. I had¬†just¬†finished straightening out the family room, the kitchen was clean, the downstairs bathroom (the one I mostly use), my bedroom . . . I was as ready as I was going to get. And I was¬†excited. My UBERSPONSOR was coming to my HOUSE!!¬†You have to know that I never let anyone come over. Not¬†my¬†friends, anyway. Mom’s friends come over…

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…

Withdrawal

Withdrawal sucks. No two . . . okay, well maybe¬†two¬†words about it. It’s been over 24 hours since I checked my blog stats. Now, before you start snorting Pepsi out your nose and all over your computer screen, please realize this is a very big deal for me. In the not-too-distant past, I’ve been known to check my stats anywhere from 1-8 times a day, to see how many likes I’ve been getting, what posts are most read, etc. Even now, my fingers ache oh-so-bad to just click over and see how things are going. Knowing where this comes from…

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…

Courage to Change the Things We Can

Remember way back when in April or maybe the end of March some time when I talked about cleaning my car, Tweetybird? ¬†Yeah, I never did. Not until yesterday and the day before, until I was backed against the wall and we were going to take my sister to her court date. But I did it! She’s beautiful again. ūüôā And I am SO SORE, from bending over and picking up empty iced tea bottles and cans, Coke cans, etc, and putting them in trash bags (no, when I’m in full-on clean mode like this, I do NOT recycle, sorry).…