Overwhelmed

Okay, so I spoke with Mary, my temporary OA (Overeaters Anonymous) sponsor yesterday evening, and she told me she would like me do several things that she did for her sponsor and that had worked for her.

1. To call her every day, and tell her what I’ve eaten the day before, if I’m on track with my meal plan for that day.

2. To read three pages in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, find something on each page that means something or touches me in some way, and write about each thing in a notebook . . . every day.

3. Go to more OA meetings. I only go to one OA meeting a week so far.

I guess that’s all she said for now. But it feels totally overwhelming, and I’ll tell you why. These are all my reasons:

1 I’ve put Undertow on the back burner and have started a novel, the beginning of a series, called Where is Faith? , to be followed by Faith in Prison, and finally Faith Forever. 

2. I’m working on putting together a book proposal for Where is Faith? which is not exactly an easy process. They are generally quite a bit longer than synopses, and more involved.

3. I love to write, but I’d rather be journaling my feelings regarding my cravings when it comes to food. Like, when I get hungry, is it emotional or physical hunger, and if emotional then what the hell is going on?

4. The reason I only go to one OA meeting a week is because I usually attend four Al-Anon meetings a week, and I told her that, but it didn’t put her off mentioning other OA meetings I might like.

Well, Mary did say at the end that we could try this for two weeks and see how it goes. We might be incompatible, and that’s okay. But when I talk to her today I’m going to ask her about the journaling thing. What is the point of the pages? Why that particular assignment? Is it just to make sure I read the big book? Because I’m reading it.

I don’t know. I’m just so overwhelmed. It’s making me tired and pissed off. 😦

Peace out.

Progress Not Perfection

progress not perfection
My family physician – also board-certified in psychiatry – and I go back a ways. I checked with the receptionist, and their computer only goes back as far as 1995, but it was a return appointment, so we’re figuring at least 1994.

That’s a long time to know someone. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, because I used to be a lot sicker than I am now. As I sit here, and I know I’m in for a wait, sometimes as long as three hours, I think of the progress that’s been made. Today, I come to Dr. Sack’s office with a bag of tricks to engage me. There’s a knitting project, two books I need to finish reading for possible review, and of course an old-fashioned notebook and pen to write this blog post for later transfer to computer when I get home. Plus my smart phone so I can stay in touch with FB friends and all of that. God forbid I should lose touch with the world for a minute. 😛

When I first began coming here, through the wayback machine, I was much angrier and impatient. I was in the throes of borderline personality disorder”, which – if you click on the term it will take you to a great website that describes and explains the symptoms and characteristics.

I remember feeling rage and paranoia that other patients had been called back into rooms before I had. Numerous times I’d storm the poor receptionist’s desk. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting? My appointment was at such-and-so, and here it is two hours later! I demand to be seen!” Like it had never occurred to me the other patients waiting in the room had been waiting just as long if not longer. 😦 Bless their hearts, they took that vitriol, and gave back nothing but calm, clear, kindness.

Part of the problem, I realized much too late, was my panicky feelings at being jam-packed in a waiting room filled with sick people. I wasn’t physically ill, I was mentally ill, and didn’t want to add strep throat to the mix if I could help it. Also, I did not know then that I was dealing with claustrophobia, which has still not left me today.

There is a theory bandied about that people can “age out” of borderline personality disorder, and I think that is what has happened with me. Then too, with the advent of cell phones, when the waiting room is packed, the receptionist is kind enough to take down my cell number and call me when it’s time for me to come back into a patient room. And, like I said at the outset, I bring things to engage myself and to keep myself busy.

It’s nowhere near perfect, but I’m a work in progress.

All In For God With Faith

faith

5The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”

6But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
–Luke 17:5,6 Message

Doesn’t that sound just like us? I mean, there were the apostles, they had Jesus, the LORD Himself, in the flesh, and they wanted more. It wasn’t enough.

I’m learning, slowly but surely, that faith is one of those I was given just enough of, and it’s up to me to do with it what I wish. Like concrete here in Michigan, it can expand and contract, but it’s still the same. The measure of it hasn’t changed. Maybe it’s shape, it’s edges, the form it can take – but it’s the same amount I was given at the beginning. Sometimes it might feel smaller because the ground is shifting, and sometimes it feels huge because everything is smooth sailing.

The last 48 hours have not been smooth sailing, but I had to make a decision – last night – to be “all in” no matter how I was feeling, and keep moving with the understanding that God knew what He was doing.

God always knows what He’s doing. I can’t always see it because I can sometimes only see as far as the nose on my face, and I can only see that if look through the corner of my eye. 😉

When I made that decision, when I pushed “all in,” something shifted . . . in me.

There’s still some work to be done. I still can’t see very far, but I don’t think I need to. I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Peace out.

Riddles for Fun and Folly

1. I have but only two
They taste just as sweet
Though thru bitter words may flow.

2. A hairier face you’ve never seen
and the halitosis might make you green
Brown eyes staring, body wiggling

3. Three eyes have I, all in a row.
When the green one opens, everyone goes.

4. I cover without smothering.
I’m not clothing.

5. Pull my chain, everything goes black.

6. Stout am I but not from food
My whiskers betimes slip off my face

That’s it. That’s all the fun I have today. I’ll write a more serious post later. Wanted to get this out now.
Have fun!

Knitting and Purling, and Soothing

Didn’t end up going to the meeting last night. Listened to my inner self, my chronic fatigued, bipolar self, and – more importantly – the H.A.L.T theory. Never let myself get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Well, as I wrote yesterday, I was pretty wiped out. I needed a break. Today I’m going to an afternoon meeting and tonight an open talk (my first one in a very long time, so I’m excited!).

Last night was a time for knitting. Recently I splurged and bought a set of Harmony wood needles, along with the cables (and a tightener for them, otherwise they may come off during work at an alarming time!) from http://wwww.knitpiks.com. If it’s weird to be in love with knitting needles then I’m officially off the charts strange.

Everything about knitting turns me on. From the feel of the yarn as it slides through my fingers, to the soft click-click of the needles as I knit and purl (no frogging allowed here, that’s for another post), to all the beautiful colors, to seeing the product grow and knowing I – I did that!

When I’m too fatigued, I can’t do it, because I know I’ll make mistakes even in the simplest of patterns. But when I’m just a little tired and feeling sad because – like last night – I missed a favorite meeting, it soothes me and quiets my spirit. As a little girl, if someone I played with said something upsetting to me or something didn’t go my way, I would run in the house and bang something out on the piano really quickly, which usually made me feel better. Sadly, I don’t play the piano anymore.

But – knitting. Sigh. It does that and even more. If I was confident enough, I would teach others how to knit. I even get plot bunnies for writing while I knit, and that I consider a side benefit! Sometimes when I’m writing and get frustrated with how it’s going I’ll work out the snarls (no pun intended) with a good knitting project. The cobwebs get cleared out in my head and I’m ready to get back to work.

If I’m making something for someone else, like the baby blanket I’m currently making for little Eleanor Grace, I pray while I’m making it. I pray for her future, I pray that God will keep her safe in the palm of His hand.

I’ll try to remember to post pics of my knitting as I go, but I often get distracted by other things, like my lovely Lucy. Which reminds me, I want to make her a dog sweater. 😀

There. How many other knitters did I speak to, or how many did I make want to knit? Who knows, some people swear they can teach knitting over the phone. 😉

Priorities

I’ve been doing too much. Going to about four Al-Anon meetings a week, attending two lectures on alcoholism followed by sharing times afterwards, which amounts to two 3-hour evenings a week, reading all the literature on alcoholism I can get my hands on and then some. I had to take back all the books I had taken out from the library on the subject. My sponsor made me. 😛 I couldn’t exactly take back the 30+ I have downloaded to my Kindle. 😦

I’ve been accepted to work on a collaboration with 13 other writers. Also, just been accepted to do a weekly book review for a blog. So I have to, I guess, RE-prioritize my life.

It’s not about the alcoholic in my life. It’s about me. Starting today, I’m paring down my reading to Al-Anon related literature (mainly the Big Book of Al-Anon and my meditation books, like One day at a time in Al-Anon), and the books I need to read for review.

Also, I’m writing a non-fiction book this year called “Undertow: Growing Up With An Alcoholic Sister.” I’ve only written the outline so far, but that took some serious work.

So, I’m only going to keep my favorite one or two Al-Anon meetings. Only going to the skills building and sharing meeting on Tuesday night. One or two open talks. LOTS of rest and sleep. Walks with Lucy so I can talk with God about all that’s going on (that’s whom I choose to call my Higher Power; if it helps you, fine).

The life unexamined is not worth living. Didn’t someone famous say that? 😉