Taking Care of Myself For Real

I was talking with a friend this evening and we were discussing the fact that when we know what to do to take care of ourselves, its good when we follow through with it.

The fact is we usually know what we need to do. There may be times when we are stumped, or our brain isn’t functioning correctly. We need our friends and supportive family to remind us.

Repetition seems to be the best teacher, at least for those in my circle of friends. I for one, seem to keep doing the same type of things whether they are working for me or not.

Finally, when I start recognizing the same path I’ve been going around for days and months I get it! I want to find the way out and regroup!

I was in a position today, where I had to tell someone I had to have some advanced notice. My legs do not function on a fifteen-minute notice. Could I have said it kinder? Yes. I’ve been around this same path that I could not handle or allow his crisis to become my crisis. If I did, I would allow it to eat at me until I did explode and do something dumb. I can’t afford that kind of anger today. Especially when it can be avoided by learning to state my boundaries.

I really don’t want to be that angry person because as I have explained to people it’s like a vial of poison and venom erupting in me and I feel so sorrowful afterwards. The other thing that happens, remember I said the word repetition?  I hear the old tapes playing and I am acting out the old tapes; if I am letting old tapes control my life and how I treat myself and others.

Those old tapes if I am listening to them they become my self-talk. I know the real-me cannot afford the self-talk from those old tapes. I wouldn’t let anyone else talk to me that way. It becomes simple, not easy always, but stop it! Quit pushing play!

Its best I state boundaries and avoid that kind of thing. Its all part of self-care and doing my best when communicating with others. Not every day can I think of the next right thing. That’s why its so important to have tools and community. Leaning new habits and walking through fears.

I have a chance to not fight myself and those around me today, if I just can take some simple direction. Sometimes its humbling when you hear from someone younger, what the next right thing is to do. But if you can humble yourself enough to hear then why not take advantage and take some action.

We have heard it said many times. Life is not a dress rehearsal. I know so cliché. Yet it’s true, we don’t have time to wait to get it down right and perfect each time. But hopefully each time we live out the positive, the right, and truth, we manage to do a little bit better.

Maybe some days are a step backwards but there is hope! I am reminded of that today!

Thanks for reading!

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Picking Up Instead of Starting Over

It’s been a while since I have posted anything. I keep on reading about the fact that maybe starting over isn’t always the answer. Maybe its learning to pick up the pieces right where you stand and put aside that which isn’t useful now.

Sometimes it feels like picking up the pieces of a shattered glass and hoping the little shards of glass don’t cut you. We must pick ourselves up and figure out where we left off.

I have all sorts of reasons for not continuing. There is one important reason to continue. That reason is, I still have a story to tell. I am the only one who can tell it the most accurately. No one else knows how I feel, or what exactly I must do.

This is my journey and while we may share a same path, its not always the same journey.

There are different things running through my mind and thinking of different friends who are going through different hardships. This is the only place where as I write, no one else gets to argue with me.

I can’t tell anyone else’s story. I can only tell mine and sometimes its hard trying to figure out exactly what is my story. This week is filled with so much anxiety. But it has lessened with the more answers I have received.

Part of my journey this week is preparing for a Picc-Line to go in my arm so that I can self-administer prescribed I-V antibiotics. When I first heard of this I was told this would only be if I had a bone infection.

Naturally when I was told this would be done, I freaked out a little over what I thought, must be a bone infection. When seen later by the nurse practitioner, she explained I didn’t have a bone infection. What a relief!

In the middle of writing this, I just received news the Picc-Line will be put in Friday. I will then go to an Infusion Center and get an infusion. All of it is new to me and very scary; especially, if I am left alone with the internet and my crazy brain. It’s when I am alone that I come up with all my fears and the negative aspects.

For me this is like being on a hike and spraining my ankle and having to continue until I can get home. I do find once I pick myself up and call out there are friends there to meet me.

I must confess, a lot of times there is a search party already out for me because many times the phone weighs seven hundred pounds when I am in fear or somehow created a new way to injure myself.

I am sober for over fourteen years. To try and describe my life in those years at best, is like it has been blurry with highs and lows. I just realize today, I can’t keep starting over. I must pick up and keep moving forward.

Thanks for reading!

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Going Forward on A Journey With God

Its not easy going forward. You want the feelings others speak of in their journey. Yet what you see above is the gray skies and rain coming down like buckets.

I hold in my hand my hot cup of coffee for the first time in two and a half days, I am staying up at least long enough to write this article on my journey with God. I imagine God is not happy with all my choices as neither am I. Going forward isn’t always on a pink cloud with warm fuzzies and feeling giddy! No that’s a Mary Poppins Fantasy! I call my therapist Mary Poppins. Thank goodness he reminds me when I am about ready to smile a real smile.

Some days I want to scream I have been through a lot of crap. Some where beyond the stage I have set there is only a single person as my audience who seems to be clapping and saying, “Well ain’t that all of us, brother? We all have been through a lot of crap! Now pick up your bags or don’t but come trudge with the rest of us. You’re no better than us all.”

My journey with God is hard and there doesn’t seem to be a paved road. I have great intentions and seem to fall in every pothole along the way.

The journey with God is hard and sometimes you carry on with a lump in your throat. You wonder how you’re going to keep the bills UpToDate and not fall behind, more than you are already. You make promises to yourself and others. Nothing is ever the way you intended. You keep promising to see your own mother, maybe not even to her, just yourself. You honestly can’t, and it breaks your heart.

You keep trying to be positive and more negative happens. Its always a war with something. What a relief when the cable company comes after your equipment and saying they can see you cannot afford their services. In some small way its almost a comfort at least someone is agreeing with you about something. After all you’re not trying to rip anyone off. You just want to get through the day and they saved you the gas money of having to go and return it yourself.

You say a word of thanks after God has helped you make it through one more day. You couldn’t have made it on your own. That’s why you asked for Gods help earlier that day.

The bright spot sometimes is going through the grocery store line and only having to put back two items, instead of hearing your card has been declined.

Its not easy and you’re not always in the mood to be spiritual. However as with most things, it’s simple. You place one foot in front of the other. You do the next right thing no matter what!

You realize you’re fifty-two years old, but only you can see yourself as the scared twelve-year-old boy. You’re wondering if you’ll ever be good enough. Will you ever say the right words and not offend some one.

Climbing hill after hill you are reminded of a friend whose spouse’s way of surrendering to God seems to be; “Oh alright! Already!” Mine’s very similar, “Whatever God, lets get on with it!”  I think it is time for another cup of coffee!

Thanks for reading!

Not Every Day Feels Good

 

People expect you to always have a positive thought or word for the day. Some days that’s just not on the menu.

If you’re like me, you do want to see the beauty and cherish all the people around you. But I think part of that is being real. Part of being real is being a bit why about the stuff that bothers us. What we go through everyday can never be described fully accurate.

There are days we are just so weighed down by the things in life that just keep coming at us. What I find mostly is people would rather I be quiet about such things and for me to pretend they don’t exist. I do have one or two that want to hear it all or they just want me to keep talking so that I can get past it.

Some days I can past most things. But when everything has been stacked against me and things falling around me I find myself losing my peace. I think its okay to say that.

Yesterday was the second day in a row I just couldn’t keep positive and I just felt like one person was asking more from me than I could give. I just screamed that no one understood I was giving all that I could. I was even trying to get done with my own responsibilities. I got soaked by the pouring rain and so wet I felt like I was soaked to the bone.

I looked at the person I was with yesterday and said look no one is going to be there when I run out of gas and when I smoke my last cigarette. I said you can’t be there because you’d need a ride from me.

Even after saying this and getting home exhausted from the day the same person calls and asks for a ride again. I said look my gas light is on and I have o clue where gas money will come from to get through. I just can’t do these things people keep asking.

It’s not my job to be positive for anyone. I don’t have to keep a stiff upper lip because you say to. If I get through a day it is called a freaking miracle. If you get through today, it’s a freaking miracle!

Not everything is rainbows and hearts some days, just suck!

I wish that today I could just crawl beck into bed and sleep in. Unfortunately, that won’t work today. No matter, how far I throw the phone or try to bounce it on a cement slab it won’t break, and the thing won’t quit ringing. If it did break Id lose all my contacts and thanks to technology I no longer remember people’s numbers. Thanks technology for adding more stupidity to the world!

I don’t have to smile and be positive for you today. Not every piece of writing is popular or good or just freaking uplifting. For goodness sakes Ernest Hemingway committed suicide! Do you think he was thinking happy thoughts all the time?!

Well I do hope and pray each of you have a good day. If you don’t have anything nice to say just come sit next to me. 

Thanks for reading!

Feelings Versus Decisions Will I Move Forward?

If I wait to feel like doing something, it will never get done. Sometimes I make these long lists of what needs to be done. By the time I finish with these wonderful organized lists, I am out of any energy to carry them out.

I have taken time to listen to some motivational speakers and what they have done to find success. I may need to start some coffee about now to get through the rest of this writing. I hope that I can put some of my words into practice today. If my words help you then it will be a bonus.

I believe success can only be defined on an individual basis. If we depend on others opinion for success; are we not just living up to other people’s expectations and not really having a goal of our own? Therefore, I think it is up to each of us to define success for ourselves. Success cannot be measured by feelings.

First, we must decide. A lot of what I have read and heard in the past week means you only have five seconds to decide. Our decisions if we make them, are followed by immediate actions.

I admit I have not succeeded in making many decisions this past week. For example, it has taken me until today to begin writing again. This is after telling someone I have much to share from my heart. That was 5 days ago!

As humans I believe we are whiny creatures until we just do the action part. Waiting for the warm fuzzy feelings and to have the real emotions before we are willing to follow through is crap! Nothing can be accomplished solely on feelings and emotions.

The other part of this is I am harsh with myself because nothing gets done when I freeze up out of fear or waiting for the right feelings and emotions to come.

Thank you to one of my writing friends for getting me turned back on to Mel Robbins. One of the things she said that got to my core was “you wouldn’t hang out with people who talked to you, the way you talk to yourself. Stop it!”

Another thing she said today we think we must drop the f-bomb in every conversation. What she said was it wasn’t cute, smart, or accurately descriptive of how we truly feel. Stop it!

Regardless of my beliefs, I must tell you the f-bomb has been a true struggle for me and part of me wants to argue that point.

There have been times I really felt it necessary to say. But when I get that time alone and reflect on my day and conversations I must say I probably could have added something better than the f-bomb. You see, here again, it’s all about deciding what I will do and acting on it.

I say with my mouth I want to move forward. I say it with feeling and emotion, “I want to move forward!” My actions however, tell a different story. If I truly want to move forward all that is necessary is to decide and act on that decision!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Participate By Being The Change For You

What I must share today could almost be titled, “Self-Awareness Part Two.”  However, what I really want to concentrate on is being the change in my own life. Today I automatically look outside and see the beauty of the sky of blue, with white pillow clouds the green trees, the green grass, and the sun shining bright.

Its all part of God’s Creation. There is so much to be thankful for in just seeing the world outside my bedroom window. I am part of the world and I get the chance to participate in life today.

I know today I want to live out loud. I may not make everyone happy with the things I say or do. I will make mistakes and I cannot please everyone. What’s more, it’s not my job, to please everyone. I think of Otis Redding singing (Sittin on) the dock of the bay… “I can’t do what ten people tell me to do. So, I guess I’ll remain the same” But here’s the thing, I don’t want to remain the same.

I want to change and grow up to be the best person I can be.

My parents raised me the best they could with what they had, and I was a game changer and a challenge for them. As an adult today, I get to self-parent and learn what is good for me and what works. I also get to find out what doesn’t work.

I often must seek advice and sometimes just wait patiently. I have heard it said often, if you want to find the best kind of friend, learn to be that kind of best friend to yourself and it will show to others.

I think often what happens with me is I start beating myself up to avoid admitting I have a problem. It becomes a vicious cycle out of control. Today I want to change that just one step at a time. There is so much to look forward to in this life. If I can just take a deep breath and step back occasionally I will see I have room to grow and see the changes coming.

I want all the things that somehow seem to be lacking or have lacked in the past. I want to be positive, strong, courageous, consistent, even-tempered, and loving. Its important I follow through for me and not wait until I have a cheering section to try to get up and do things. That’s a responsibility to myself and I am just guessing it’s a key to happiness.

I believe sometimes we must be our own hero. That does not mean for me to get big-headed, instead realize that I do have the ability to care for myself.

The things I have no control over often make me feel helpless. But its one more lie after another. I am not helpless today! I have the control to change me today and not wait to see if people, places, and things meet my expectations.

If I have expectations placed on people, places, and things I will be sadly disappointed. Changing me, is where it is all about me.

Thanks for reading!

 

Self-Awareness Can Win Half of The Battle

Here I am trying to come back strong. I spent a lot of the last month not doing much with my writing. I also found myself wanting to give myself a lot of free passes. It doesn’t work! It will drive you deeper into depression.

I can say that, because I lived it. There is no judgement on anyone, nor is there anyone I am pointing fingers at besides myself. This all has to do with battling problems and staying focused on the solution instead of wallowing in the problem.

I earlier commented to a friend what a long day it was but that I had confronted everything I intended to. She then replied, “sounds like it was a good day”; and it was a good day.

Most of the things I avoid confronting, have to do with fear. Fear that others will give up on me if I must show my real face or say how I really feel. Maybe I must admit I missed the mark or admit a wrong. I often fear I will lose people. Yet in that same fear, the same behaviors keep happening unless I confront them. There just comes a point of being and tired of being sick and tired!

The truth is no one is giving up on me, I am the only one who talks of giving up especially when I get in that bitter morass of self -pity. That’s one of my roots and it will drag me under like a current and suck the life out of me, until I start screaming yelling and holding my hand up as only a drowning person can do.

I cannot judge anyone else or their situation though I admit I do try to sometimes. But I find judging others makes me sicker and I have more obstacles to move around in my own life.

I think I am more afraid to admit the truth to myself at times because its one less mask to hide behind.

At the beginning of 2018 I set out to makes changes and I am still moving toward that end. I must concede to the fact I have found some hard challenges along the way. Some I realized were bigger bites I tore off than I could chew.

Some were that I didn’t take any of my limitations into account. I give myself permission to accept there are some limitations. That does not give me a free pass, it just means I must work around those limitations.

I do want to be self-aware today and grow. For me and what others have told me in the past my history is to give up too fast and say something can’t be done. If I expect to get anywhere in this life I must take responsibility for my own actions.

This includes being self-aware. I cannot afford to give up I have come too far. I won’t take less effort from myself just for today. I must have honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to grow. Just another day at a time in my world.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

A Very Special Anniversary of Mine to Share

Today August 28th, has marked a very special anniversary for me. If you know me or my writing at all; it will always revolve around something recovery or spiritually oriented. There’s always some type of growth process involved.

This certainly doesn’t mean I have all the answers. In fact, I have very few answers. I only get to share what I have learned and not necessarily what I have mastered.

Fourteen years ago, today, I finally decided I was ready to be honest and stay clean and sober one day at a time. It has certainly been a ride of a life time. There are always reasons for wanting to be high or drunk. But there’s more reason not to pick up today.

I can’t make anyone understand what I have been through in my life and it’s not my job to make anyone understand.

My parents have raised me the best that they could despite how hard it was for them. They are no longer responsible for my happiness or my decisions. I am now 52 years old, but it’s taken me a long time to start to grow up.

My mom is now my friend and I sure wish I could spend more time with her, but things and distance and schedules sure make it hard to do so. About my dad, he passed away about one or more month before my first year sober.

I used to be so cocky in my sobriety until things came forth like: integrity, honesty, love, compassion, faith, real prayer, and meditation. A week ago, the after affects, of everything that felt so heavy the weeks prior to that came crumbling down. I didn’t know if I could make it another 24 hours with out drinking or drugging and I did anyway.

We don’t stay clean and sober on our own. It takes everyone in our corner and you don’t have to like or accept everything that’s said, but you dang better well hang on like it’s a parachute, because doing this life is like jumping from a burning plane you either must jump or crash with the plane.

Simple choices but not easy to follow through without directions. It’s that simple.

I m learning more and more not to take things for granted. I don’t always make the best decisions on my own, so I really do need help. But most importantly I need help from God, my friends, and family.

Sometimes the easiest way to get through things is taking time to listen to someone else and hear about their struggles. It’s amazing how listening to someone else can help us more than they will ever know.

Sometimes its listening to others simple prayers rather than trying to figure out the great, eloquent words we want to use to try and get God’s attention.

I have so much more to learn and so much more honesty in me to find. I spent years in a make-believe world and 14 years of being clean sober barely scratches the surface of what’s beneath.

The point is God is always there and so are people if I let them be one day at a time.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

“Letting Go Of What I Can’t Control”

Today I am waking up very slow and I was watching the rain come down. I am drinking coffee from my favorite orange coffee cup, that was my dad’s.

There’s a lot of random thoughts I just have inside me, as I have done my prayer and meditation. But I promise to get to the point!

I sit here thinking about everything that has happened in the past couple of weeks. Life changes in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it can be hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The tears come flowing down usually at the end of the day because not everything stays the same. Life doesn’t wait for you to catch up. Things change, people change, our lives are forever changed, in good, bad, and indifferent ways.

I had planned more writing on the new book I am reading, “The Circle Maker.” Instead, what I am finding is having to live that book out loud. I must have faith, real faith! It’s about letting go of my will, in areas of my life I didn’t realize were so consequential. It’s about learning to let go of my will and my demands.

Today as part of my meditation I took out a book called “Came To Believe.” This book is from Alcoholics Anonymous of World Services Inc – New York. Inside it shares so many stories of members and how and what helped them come to believe.

Today’s story I read was, “How Do You Pray?” It was so fitting for me, as this week I have been really putting into practice of letting His Will be done, not mine.

The key thing in this story and when praying is asking God for, Thy Will be done, not mine. It can be difficult at first taking the focus off our wants and demands and putting a situation totally into His hands. However, agreeing with someone for God’s Will and not yours, that alone is a great responsibility.

The other thing is being truthful with all facts as you know them and correcting anything that might be misleading for you or others.

What I have found is God has put the people in my path that I need and who need me. If I were to take the title, The Circle Maker from a different angle, Id say God puts us all in a circle. He does so, that might all receive what we need and to learn to give to others. I don’t think there is a perfect way to do this or that we will ever do it perfectly. But I do think God makes it perfect!

The thing is when God makes it perfect we get to take no credit for ourselves. This keeps our head at right size, so we can’t be puffed up or think we have the only connection to God. Because of this you and I can be free.

Because of this I get to show up today and ask God for His will for me today. Because of this I can be of help to others in the way God wants to use me. Just for today it’s not about my will. I may have to keep getting myself out-of-the-way, as my wants may raise their head. A popular saying as I close. “I can’t! He can, I think I’ll let Him!”

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Aren’t You Tired Yet?

Many phrases struck me in the last week. However only one, keeps ringing through my ears as loud church bells. “Aren’t you tired yet?” (I am borrowing this theme from a different angle I heard over the weekend.)

I think about my travels over the years. Let me define travels in my case, it always meant running from something. I learned this way of life at a very young age. If you get tired of something, you just start over and pretend your mistakes didn’t ever exist.

I don’t know why people couldn’t follow this logic and why it had to stop working when I became an adult.

I think only recently I am truly understanding the laws of retribution and restitution. This has been going on 14 years of one day a time. I didn’t realize how much I packed up in storage to have tumbling down on myself; thinking it was all tucked away nice and neat.

The baggage we carry from each thing is only weighing us down. We think the baggage is in storage and we are starting anew, but really, we have been carrying it around with us.

The problem with baggage is it almost acts as a pandora box. We see some favorite scenes when we open it, or someone recalls something from an adventure from our past. We hear the music from a time long ago and a smile comes across our face.

Then suddenly all the bad stuff comes up to the surface. It’s the pain, the hurts, and the wrongs we have done. It all blocks the peace and son light of the spirit, if you will.

When we have not dealt with things, it’s like having a hammer in our hands and beating ourselves over the head. Maybe we have dealt with things, but we have picked them back up, it’s still the same result. It feels so good to put the hammer down!

There’s this voice that comes in a small whisper. “Aren’t you tired yet?” When I put down the hammer and let go of the baggage, I can rest much easier. I still have the journey before me and its still a step at a time.

You may think I mean that baggage is useless, but its not useless. For with in that baggage holds so many answers to clearing the wreckage of the past and to stop beating ourselves up with the past.

Clearing the wreckage takes on living a life of making amends and restitution. It means handing it all over to God. We don’t know when to stop beating ourselves up for past mistakes and things we have allowed in our lives.

Once we give it all over to God and quit trying to take the reigns we can finally breathe easy. We can look the world square in the eye and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

An example from my family life is simply put, as one day we needed to get the garage door up and it is very heavy when the automatic door opener will not work. Well our whole family went out there to open this door and I remember standing next to my mom holding on with everything I had in me.

My mom saw the struggle was real for me, that I made for myself. She told me it wasn’t necessary for me to put all my strength in like that. The whole family was helping I could trust them too.

The truth was I was not sure I could trust my family or even wanted to. But sure enough, as I eased up all of us together could hold that door up. That moment in life with my family will always serve as a reminder I don’t have to do this journey alone.

By no means is it easy, or that we won’t make mistakes. We surely will. But we will not have to be the great tornadoes in everyone’s lives, like we once were.

Aren’t you tired yet?

Thanks for reading!