Sunday, August 17, 2008

Live and Let Live

Yesterday's reading in the Naranon daily reader, Sharing Experience Strength and Hope, talked about the slogan, "Live and Let Live." The writer said that s/he worked it backwards. S/he first learned to let live, and then learned to live.

I realized that that slogan worked for me yesterday as soon as I chose to work it. But for me, I had to live in order to let live. I chose to spend about an hour being home alone and miserable after my expected losses. And I waited, ever so patiently, for my designated babysitter to wake up and come play with me. You know, even while I was doing it, I could see how that waiting shit so doesn't work for me. And how I was playing out the exact same psychodrama I play so well and so often with my addict without the addict in the equation. It wasn't the giving my friend space to sleep in that was a problem, any more than giving my addict that same space. It was the fact that what I was choosing to do with my time was wait for somebody else. So after an hour or so of that, I made a different choice. I went out and played with a baby. It was just what I needed to jumpstart my day.

I went out and played with my designated babysitter. She indulged me in my fantasies of creating natural consequences for my addict. Of course, the fact that I'd be creating them makes the consequences decidedly unnatural. But my wise friend didn't point that out to me. We went to a meeting, where among other things, I heard today's reading on the slogan, live and let live. I then spent a wonderful 3 hours with another friend in recovery. We sat outside listening to live music and sharing.

On my way home, I was listening to the radio and came up with the silly but fun idea of throwing myself a dance party. So that's exactly what I did. I now have a fun artist's date to report back to my Artist's Way group. And I honestly had fun alone in my house. Whoda thunk.

The not so surprising thing is that the more I live my own life, the easier it's becoming to let live. I don't need to call my addict on her addicty ways. And I don't need to create natural consequences for her. I'm too busy living.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Abandonment AFGO

I'm apparently supposed to be looking at my abandonment issues today.

My partner went away on a planned recovery retreat for the weekend. Then, Thursday, we found out that we'd be facing another major loss today. The other loss was not unexpected, but it doesn't make it any less hard. And because of her retreat, I'm having to face the work of it and the feelings of it alone. Rah.

Her leaving was unpleasant. I know she was excited, but she was also incredibly self-absorbed. I was trying to deal with my feelings surrounding her short leave and then today's permanent one. I was trying not to be clingy. She made it easier and easier not to be clingy with her obnoxiousness towards me and everyone else in the house. Before she left, I'd finally had enough, and told her so. I told her to have a nice trip, and went back into the house. As she left, she apologized for being bitchy.

Now I'm caught in that damned trap between detachment and accepting unacceptable behavior. I want her to know exactly how she added to my pain this weekend instead of sharing it. I want to spell it out for her, give her a laundry list of her transgressions.

I'm also realizing that I'm wanting to use my hurt and anger about her behavior yesterday to distract me from my feelings of today.

I'll survive this loss. I always do. And I've chosen this life situation which involves attaching and then losing people in my life. What makes me so good at what I do is the very thing that makes it so hard when it's over. This time, I knew going in that it was particularly short-term. The first time I went through this, I thought I was gonna die. But I didn't. And I didn't REALLY lose the person. He's just in my life in a very different way today. Today's loss makes number 8 and 9. I'll survive it, like I have every other one. And I'll willingly sign on for more.

I've made some tentative plans to take care of me this weekend. I'll get through it. I wish we were getting through it together, but that's just not in the cards today. God apparently REALLY wants me to work on this abandonment stuff today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Julia Cameron keeps talking about me

I'm on the second book in the Artist's Way series. Last week, in week 9, Julia talked about the difference between worry and fear. She says that worry is obsessive and flits from subject to subject, seeking out worst case scenerios. Worry's job is to distract us from what we're really afraid of, according to Cameron. She also says that while most of us are afraid of fear, it's actually a good grounding thing, telling us to do something to take care of ourselves.

Last week, while I was supposed to be reading this chapter, I was busy worrying- worrying that my partner was abusing my kid's narcotic pain meds, worrying that she didn't want to spend any time with me, and creating all kinds of miserable scenerios about going back to work next week. I was a mess. That wonderful friend I was just thanking said to me at one point, "What's wrong with you? You're doing everything wrong!" And she was right. Things were actually going pretty well in my life, but I was using worry to create all kinds of crazies for me all over the place.

This week, Julia's talking about me again. "Nervous, we create dramas to make ourselves more nervous. We announce, "I've been thinking about your character, and I'm not so sure I should trust it. What do you think about that, wife?" " Geesh, was she there in my house when I was codiexploding?

Julia has answers for me, when I choose to listen. This week, she's telling me to keep the drama on the stage, or for me, on the page. She says that when I'm not creating art, I am likely to create unecessary drama in my life. She's also telling me to catch myself a catcher's mitt- a somebody who encourages me, helps me focus, and when necessary, catches my pop flies. I have great catcher's mits in my life. But lately, I'm more likely to call them AFTER the balls are all lost in the field. So for today, I'm committing to writing here and to calling my catcher's mit BEFORE I throw my next ball. I'll let you know how that works out for me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thanks, Friend!

You might have heard that I've been codiexploding all over the place, lately. Well, a dear friend in recovery heard, and has been chasing me down to hear all about it.

She let me spew all of the minute details of my codiexplosions. She listened gently and without judgement, and reminded me to be gentle with myself. She pointed out things I couldn't see. She gave me the two gifts that have become the most important in the world to me- validation and empathy.

Thanks, friend!!!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


I've been codiexploding all over the place in the past few days.

Saturday, my kid had surgery, which led me to a series of people pleasing behaviors that backfired and ended up hurting all involved. In the meantime, I didn't fill his prescription, hoping that he wouldn't need it and I wouldn't have to deal with narcotics in the house. He did well all day, but by evening, he was hurting. I went out and filled the scrip, but he had unneccessary time in pain because of MY fear. And I spent the night feeling guilty, both for the consequences of my people pleasing and for the kid's extra time hurting.

Last night at dinner, my kid and my partner were acting strange, and I jokingly (sorta) asked her if she'd gotten into the kid's stash. Then, a few hours later, I miscounted the pills and was sure that she had. I figured it out, but was left with all these feelings. Then, when I told my partner about them, she wasn't as compassionate as I wanted her to be about MY disease rearing its ugly head. Duh! I'd just told her I'd been accusing her in my head of something she didn't do. And meanwhile, I'm sure the narcotics in the house are doing a number on HER addict. She turned her entire body away from me and I dissolved into tears in an abandonment codiexplosion.

This afternoon, she agreed to let a friend of one of the kids come over for dinner and said she'd make ribs. Then, she promptly fell asleep and couldn't be aroused for hours. (For those of you loyal readers, her sleeping for extended periods is a major trigger for me.) We've been playing tug-of-war with the dinner bucket of shit. As far as I know, she's finally ordered pizza.

I think Mantra's Pissy Pants has invaded my house.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Go See Swing Vote!

And tell me what you think. I got free tickets to an advanced screening. It's not touted at all as an addiction story, but it certainly is one. The codie daughter broke my heart. It had its holes, but through my new lenses, I was clearly able to see the addict as separate from the man. I won't say more, b/c I know you haven't gotten a chance to see it yet. But once it's been out for a minute or so, I'd love to see some reviews. (MPJ AND TDA, this particularly means YOU!!)