From taking care of myself

Six Steps: Part III

When I spoke with my friend Jean, who hasn’t let go of me despite my absence from social media, I told her about my reticence in blogging. I’m struggling, and I had the absurd idea that I should be much further recovered before I write anything. Well, I didn’t realize how absurd it was until we spoke. ūüôā She reminded me that you all, like me with you, would want to share in the struggle. We need to know we’re not alone. Here, then, are the last two of the six steps. 5. Your choices are yours.¬†It might be tempting…

Six Steps to Take Back Our Control: Part Two of Three

Good morning. ūüôā If you are just tuning in, you can find steps one and two written in the previous blog post. 3. Politely listen but don’t necessarily follow well-meaning advice from family and friends.¬†It’s human nature to want to tell someone or share with that person our ideas about what we think should be done in certain situations. In some cases, this helpful advice comes from family members who have heard us sound entirely different than usual. In my case, it was other siblings who heard me on the phone coming off slurred, drugged, or very sleepy. That’s alarming.…

Six Simple Steps to Take Back Our Control: Part One of Three

I’ve been having the most difficult time putting my words down here. It can’t be because I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong. It’s my story, my life. How wrong could I get it? It seems that my most effective/popular blog posts have been when there is a specific list to help change something in one’s life. Hey, who doesn’t like lists, right? Six Simple Steps to Take Back Control 1. Question everything, and don’t be afraid of your doctor.¬†When we lose or think we lose control of our lives, it’s not always with a crash and broken bones. It’s sometimes…

Feeling Helpless? Try This!

Ever feel helpless? When I feel that way, it’s usually because I’m feeling overwhelmed. Then I will remember one of these three things: 1.¬†Breathe.¬†Mmmm. There. Feel better? When I’m helpless, or when I get the¬†thought¬†in my head that says, “I’m helpless,” weirdness descends. Shortness of breath. My chest is tight. Constricted. It sort of feels a little like drowning. So I take a deep belly breath That’s what I call breathing through the diaphragm, because you have to push your tummy out–it seems confusing but it’s not. Do it as many times as you need until the world starts to…

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…

Take A Nap!

Things can get pretty hurried and fast-paced during this time of year. Although taking a nap is generally a good idea under normal circumstances, during the holiday season it should be a¬†rule. ūüėȬ† I posted earlier this month about dogs, and how we should try to be more like them. Animals know intuitively when they need a break. Dogs are not far removed from their wolf ancestors, who needed to conserve energy for hunting and gathering. When I take my Lucy out for a walk, you would think she’s on a hunt. Her nose is constantly to the ground, unless…

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…

Willingness To Surrender – And A Note

There is strength in¬†willingness to surrender.¬†I’m not speaking here of the surrender we might see when someone raises his hands at gunpoint, or even waves a white flag, although I’ve waved a white flag a time or two at God to let Him know I’m done fighting the point. ūüėČ I’m speaking here of surrender of¬†thoughts and feelings.¬†This can sometimes be more difficult than, say, surrendering a gun, or another action. My thoughts and feelings are my¬†will,¬†and that’s what I’m surrendering,¬†willingly,¬†or without objection, to God (my higher power). No, it’s not easy. At first it was messy, and I didn’t…

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).…

Dog-Tired

I’m exhausted; tired down to my bones; dog tired. I have not been sleeping well the last couple of nights. I know why, and it’s because I haven’t been praying enough, and haven’t been “letting go and letting God” when I am afraid. ¬†I shouldn’t even be afraid, if I’m working my program right.¬† Well no, I take that back. Feelings are feelings. They come and go, like thoughts. There’s not much we can do about them.¬† In other news, I finished reading “Eat, Pray, Love” finally. I¬†loved¬†this book. It’s not a book I would have picked up on my…

Asking For Help With H.A.L.T.

After being in Al-Anon a while, ¬†I learned about the acronym H.A.L.T., which teaches us never to get too¬†hungry, angry, lonely,¬†or¬†tired.¬† I’ve been rolling along all right, I guess, with the hungry and tired part . . . you know, eating enough (while not correctly) and sleeping enough. But I’ve been slipping in the anger department lately. And I’m devastatingly lonely. There, I said it. I don’t have any real/life friends other than my sponsor, and– Oh God, that sounds absolutely pathetic. But it’s really not. Because for the most part I enjoy my own company and have been perfectly…

Creativity muscles: A-Z blog challenge

Tomorrow starts the A-Z blog challenge. As of right now, there are 1,498 people signed up, which sounds really exciting to me! I haven’t written in my blog for over two weeks, so looking forward to a daily ritual. My theme will be something I talk about as part of my blog on a regular basis, “Taking Care of Ourselves,” and I only hope and pray I can make it interesting enough for anyone who reads. ūüôā It took me a while to get to that theme. I was going to do something entirely different but chickened out at the…

Book Review: Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister – And Not Lose Yourself

If you have a sister or brother struggling with the disease of alcoholism, and need help, look no further. Sober Siblings, by Patricia Olsen and Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., provides some of the best help out there on the subject. In fact, it is the only book I have encountered so far in my search on alcoholism that addresses the difficulty of the sibling relationship. Through Patricia Olsen’s own personal experience, along with personal stories throughout the book of other siblings of alcoholics, as well as supplemented by the experience of Dr. Levounis, Sober Siblings offers practical tips and advice…

Taking Care of Ourselves

Who do you think about first thing in the morning or last thing at night before you fall asleep? Who do you feed first in the morning? Remember the airplane instructions about putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child or even the hurt person next to you? There are reasons for those. When I was a kid coming up in the world, the last thing I thought about was myself. Sure, there were a few times that were carefree, like I remember playing Red light, Green light; Red Rover; Hide-and-Seek; Say-say-oh-playmate; Mother May…