Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't Be Alone, Use the Phone

I used to call the way we end our live naranon meetings ("don't be alone, use the phone") the great lie of naranon. Everybody was willing to accept naranon calls, but nobody, including me, was willing to make them.

I've been actively practicing the tool of using the phone recently, and it's come through for me in a big way this week. At first, I'd call people and tell them I was just practicing. I announced in a meeting last week that I intended to call the people in my 12-step writing group, and I did. One of my friends in the writing workshop and I have taken to calling each other at least a few times a week. Then, Monday, when I was having a rough night, I started using my phone list. When one person wasn't available, I called another. The person I ended up talking to was not someone I call regularly, but she was incredibly helpful. Today, she called and left a warm hug on my voicemail. Then, when I didn't make a 3rd meeting in a row this week, my sponsor called, just to check on me. Yep, it works when you work it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Owning her shit

My sponsor suggests high gratitude and low expectations all the time. Today, I got another gift. My partner told me that she'd had an epiphany last night, and that she'd realized that she could have told me she was with her sponsor yesterday, that she doesn't know why she plays those headgames with me, that she knows it's inconsiderate, and that she's sorry. It felt really validating for her to say that. I didn't even tantrum or whine to get that particular gift.

I guess the feeling I had was hopeful. But then, hopeful comes with expectations. And expectations, so I'm told, are premeditated resentments. OK, me, stick to gratitude. Just for today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

powerlessness and confusion

There's this behavior that she does that makes me crazy. What she does hurts her physically in the moment. It hurts me emotionally over the long haul, as long as I allow it to, I guess. I know it's not about me. I know my reaction makes it worse. I have huge feelings around it though, and telling myself that I shouldn't have the feelings doesn't make them go away.

I know in my head that nothing I do or don't do is going to make her stop. I have these thoughts that she shouldn't do this behavior, because she knows it hurts me. If she really loved me, she'd stop. I know the thoughts aren't rational.

Last night, I used my tools. I called friends in recovery. One told me to pray for her, pray for me, read my literature, and do something for me. I decided to take a bath. I went looking for matches to light candles, and found Codependency literature instead. It was good stuff, and stuff I needed to read. That keeps happening lately.

Tonight, the reminders were still there, in my face, and so were the feelings and the irrational thoughts. She asked me if I was mad. I told her I'm not mad. I also told her that it really doesn't matter what I feel. What I do feel, though, is hopeless and helpless. It's not about me. It affects me. I have absolutely NO power to change it. Yuck!!!

Another friend in recovery reminded me that I keep getting lessons when I choose not to get them the first time. I know that's true. But, going back to my God struggle, I can't believe that God would choose to make either one or both of us hurt because I'm not learning a lesson fast enough.

This muddle isn't getting any clearer through writing, so I'm just gonna stop.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

God of my lack of understanding

I'm working Step 7, and one thing that tripped me up for a minute is my lack of understanding of God. In step 2, I was able to come to believe in a power greater than myself. I believe in the power of the 12 step program. I see it work and I know it works for me. I believe in the power of the people in the program reaching out and supporting each other. I believe in the power of belief, regardless of what the particular belief is. I believe that believing in whatever an individual believes in makes the individual better and stronger. In step 3, I did an exercize that really worked for me. I listed the people in my life over the years and the gifts that each one gave to me. Then I wrote a list of all of those gifts, and and did a meditation on all of these gifts as a kaleidoscope of gifts all coming from my higher power. I've done that exercize twice now over the years when working the steps, and it works for me. I even did a dialogue with the God of my lack of understanding, and while I can't say I understood, I know good things came of it. In step 5, I admitted to the God of my lack of understanding the exact nature of my wrongs. Again, I used the exercize of the workbook I'm using. I said it out loud. Then I looked in the mirror and said it out loud again to myself. Step 6 took a while, but I became entirely ready to have my character defects removed. I can't say I'm understanding God any better, but I trust the process.

I don't believe that everything is preordained. I don't believe that God makes every decision. I don't believe that God chooses evil and that there's some purpose for everything, that terrible things happen in order for some good to come. I DO believe that everything, even the terrible stuff that does happen, can lead to growth and that good things can come. I don't believe that if I pray right, then I'll get right answers. I do believe that whatever comes can be to my highest good. I can and do see gifts when I look for them. I got an amazing spiritual gift of another recovery tool yesterday when I really needed it.

All of that makes that prayer thing confusing for me. But yet again, I'm acting as if. Last night, and again this morning in the shower, I prayed, out loud, for God to remove all of my defects of character. I listed each one I know of, and I asked for help identifying those I haven't figured out yet. I guess, yet again, I'm coming to believe that I don't have to understand.

So much to say

that I get overwhelmed and say nothing. Hmm, my relationship gets like that sometimes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I've been blessed.

I've been blessed by Jay, with the blessings of thoughtfulness (both in the sense of being full of thought and in the sense of caring,) friendship, reciprocity (I hope,) and the blessing below:

The idea.... it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you recieve a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world!

I bless…. Scout, JW, and Mantra

I bless Scout because she IS a blessing to me and because it seems she could use a blessing these days.

I bless JW because she introduced me to my virtual recovery world and because she walks with me in my real recovery world, because she's my sister and my friend.

I bless Mantra because though we've never met in real life, she's there for me in ways people I see every day are not, and because she challenges me to stretch in so many ways.

My prayer for each of you is the "we" version of the serenity prayer. God, Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

And for Scouter, a second prayer, the Mi She Berach, the Jewish prayer of healing, which you can hear here.


and that’s it, nearly…

So, all Scout, JW, and Mantra now have to do is to;

a) bless 3 blog buddies each.
b) Include the ‘God Bless you’ image in their post.
c) Explain briefly why they are blessing the people they are blessing.
d) pray/include in the post the prayer for the recipients of the blessing.
e)The recipient/sender of a blessing should type in the com box of this very post that a blessing has been sent to them so we can keep track of how many blessings are being given.

P.S. MPJ, consider yourself blessed too. Moonmaid just beat me to it. I don't want to be responsible for any codiexplosions. I bless you, MPJ, because you made it possible to cross from virtual to real friendship, and because you're my loyalest (yep, I said loyalist) reader and commenter and because you've blessed me with awards that I haven't figured out how to post on my site, and because I believe that you're not pantydancing. You love me. You really love me.

P.P.S. Blessings back atcha Jay. See above.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My word

Questionair and MPJ have been sharing about picking a word to focus on for the year. After thinking about it for a bit (and codiexploding at midnight last night) I've decided that my word is self-care. I am responsible for my codiexplosion last night. I spent the day feeling unimportant. I had all kinds of reasons that were all about how I was interpreting my partner's behaviors of the day as rejections of me. Instead of taking care of myself by sharing how I was feeling and expressing my own desires, I kept pushing the feeling down and finding more and more reason to feel unimportant. By midnight, my partner had misjudged the time and was in the bathroom and I was laying in bed working hard at not feeling what I was feeling. Of course we all know how well that works. So I started my new year off exactly the way I didn't want to, and I know it was my doing. I tried asking for a do-over. But by then, she wasn't feeling well, I'd already sobbed about how unimportant I was feeling, and she'd taken her medication for the night. Needless to say, I didn't end up feeling more important after my do-over. I had bought some sparkling cranberry juice to ring in the new year. My partner told me that she doesn't like cranberry and that she thinks it's silly to use a substitute for alcohol. While that makes sense to me, I still felt incomplete after she went to sleep. So, I decided to have a second do-over, just with me, and toasted the new year and myself and my new word, self-care, all by myself. Happy New Year.