From taking care of ourselves

Is It Giving Up Or Letting Go?

  1. decide it’s okay to let go: When I walked away from Maybury Farms, when I let that go, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. You have to know that whatever you are holding onto does not belong to you, living or inanimate. It is not yours. That makes it easier to let go. 2. don’t hold on so hard:  I was holding on so hard to the farm that I couldn’t enjoy myself. I mostly had panic attacks, anxiety so bad that I had to take pills before each tour. I couldn’t even enjoy the children. How do you enjoy tours…

What To Do With Lousy Self-Esteem

I’m sort of an expert at lousy self-esteem. I’ve carried this weight for at least twenty years and probably then some. So I know a thing or two about what to do with it. But first; what is self-esteem, really? According to Merriam-Webster.com it means “ a confidence and satisfaction in oneself.”  Synonyms for self-respect include: confidence, dignity, morale, self-respect, self-assurance, self-regard, self-satisfaction, worth, and self-content. My favorite is worth. 🙂 I like it better than self-esteem. Self-worth. How much do you value yourself? How much are you worth? Your self. What’s it worth, really? If you find yourself coming up…

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…

Five Easy Ways To Fight Holiday Weight Gain!

Oh, come on. It’s just a cookie. It’s not even a big one. You can eat it. You’ll get back on your diet after the New Year. How often have you heard those words, or even said them to yourself over holiday foods during this season? Don’t despair, it’s never too late to learn new habits or try something new. Here are five ways to fight holiday weight gain starting now: 1. Absorb: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. A glass of water before a meal is a good idea, too. 2. Activity: Exercise is always a good idea.…

Eight Easy Exit Egresses!

So, you’re at a party and you’re read to go home. Trust me, I’ve been in this spot many times. Just as my own take on things, here are several ways you can take care of yourself and not call too much attention at the same time: 1. Park a little ways away from the madding crowd: When you arrive at the party, try to park away from the cluster of cars. In other words, don’t box yourself in so that it becomes a hassle (so-and-so needs to move his car, which is behind whats-his-name’s car, which is behind your car .…

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. 😉  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…

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…

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…

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…

A Whole Lot of Love

At Saturday’s meeting there was another double winner, like me, a friend of mine (at least, she signed my sheet, so I count her among  my friends now 😉 ) who is in both AA and Al-Anon. She mentioned when it was her time to share that she was celebrating that very day 27 YEARS of sobriety. Whoo hoo!!! All meetings have a different sort of “flavor,” and this meeting is much looser, and allows crosstalk. We allow questions and direct statements back and forth to each other because we are a very small and close-knit group. It’s just how…

Chris’s Recovery Manifesto

I wrote this for myself, but feel free to take and leave whatever works for you. We’re all in this thing called recovery together, right? We need to help each other as much as we can. 😉 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CHRIS’S RECOVERY MANIFESTO Boundaries are good. They’re important. There is no such thing as too many meetings. It’s okay to need people. “No” does not require an explanation. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. If it comes out anyway, be prepared to make amends. Always follow through. It’s okay to be human; mistakes happen. What’s important is the getting back…

H is for Honesty

As you may have noticed when you happened onto my page this lovely morning, things have changed around here. When I first began blogging, I thought my blog was going to be about knitting and writing, with some posts thrown in here and there to reflect my Al-Anon journey. Since I’m going through the Blueprint for Progress with a small group of women, which involves the 4th step adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, I have to get real about this blog. It’s an Al-Anon blog, with some posts here and there about knitting and…

D is for Determination

Out of all of the slogans I’ve heard around the Al-Anon tables, my two favorites are: “Bring the body and the mind will follow.” “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” Each of these slogans, or sayings, for me has to do with determination. The first one I hung onto when I didn’t really understand the program and thought I was there to CURE the alcoholic. I thought I was there to get the alcoholic in my life sober, and after that, my life would be just perfect. Oh, how wrong I can be. But…

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…

A is for Acceptance

Wanting that feeling of being approved/accepted comes from deep within our hearts, and it starts when we are very young. I remember needing nothing more than to be accepted as a child, for who I was. It seemed my well-meaning parents were always wanting to make me into something different. A better, more-polished, more-polite, more-confident, more . . .  version of Chris. It seems like it takes so much for us to shake off those old tapes and that old wiring and reach for something better, even if that something better is so spectacular as to be a higher power,…