Sunday, November 16, 2008

Adding God to my amends list

I recently completed step 8 with my online step group and am now starting 9. Meanwhile, a situation came up at work. I've been having difficulty with a person and a situation. It has been becoming more and more unmanageable for me, but I've been unwilling to deal with it directly. On Wednesday, the situation came to a head, and I ended up reacting out. I cried an ugly cry, as Oprah would call it, and poured out all of my feelings to one of my supervisors. She, in turn, wanted to bring it to the top boss. I told her that I was afraid, in part because the top boss is close friends with the person that I'm struggling with.

On my way to work the next morning, I prayed for the right words when it's time to talk to the top boss. I made an amend (in my head) saying that I was sorry for not trusting her when she had given me every reason to trust her. I rehearsed and rehearsed, trying to come up with just the right words.

Suddenly, it occured to me that this was another occasion where I was trying to control out of fear, and the solution to my fear is faith. I then realized that it's God that I owe that particular amend to- I haven't trusted God to give me what I need when I need it. So, I'm heading back to step 8 to add God to my amends list.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Heart Troubles

My partner spent the night in the hospital on the Chest Pain Unit Tuesday night. She started having this pain during therapy (surprise!) A few hours later, after successfully completing a CPR class, she told the instructor about her pain, and he recommended that she go to the hospital.

This is not the first time we've gone through this. Each time, they run her through a series of tests, and each time they clear her to go home. I thought I handled things pretty well during the time. I wasn't overly anxious and I didn't completely detach to the point of ignoring the symptoms which may have been life threatening, although they have never been before. Our therapist strongly encouraged her to call her doctor when she started having symptoms during our session. She refused, and I left it alone. When we completed the CPR class, I suggested that she tell her symptoms to the instructor. When he suggested we go to the ER, I took her. When she decided that she didn't like the smell of the first ER and wanted to go somewhere else, I did what she asked. (Even though by that point it had been more than 4 hours since she'd first started having symptoms. If it WAS a heart attack, she probably would have been dead by then.)

Afterwards, I asked for permission to give her feedback, and when she gave it to me, I suggested that she give her doctor and therapist permission to communicate with each other. I also suggested that she might want to ask her therapist to help her with some body work to maybe work through whatever it is that keeps bringing her back to this place. I even told her the next day how I was feeling- unappreciated and unimportant. She acknowledged that she hadn't thanked me for being there for her through the ordeal and that she did just expect me to do something for her rather than saying please. She said that she was being self-centered, but that if she ever were really dying, she wasn't going to say please and thank you.

The following day I was hovering on tears. I don't know if it was just exhaustion or if I had some unprocessed feelings left. I'm kind of beating myself up for being frustrated with the time and money involved in these hospital stays that never find anything. It's also scary though to think that there could ever come a time when I'd ignore the whole thing and it might actually BE a heart attack and I'd be responsible for her death. A friend in recovery reminded me that I came by these feelings rightly, and that my partner could actually call 911 if she ever really thought she was having a heart attack and I wasn't responding.

I sure wish she'd sort this stuff out though. I'm getting tired!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

White Chip

My partner told me yesterday that she'd be picking up a white chip in the evening.

She told me that over the past couple of weeks she's been taking various medications, from a common over-the-counter cold medicine that has a lot of alcohol in it to some leftover muscle relaxants that belonged to someone who used to live in our house and some other things. She said that her therapist, who's a recovering alcoholic had told her weeks ago that she couldn't have the cold medicine, but she'd chosen to keep using it anyway and to use more than prescribed.

She has a new sponsor, who apparently told her that she didn't think that she needed to pick up a white chip. But my partner didn't feel comfortable with that, and kept asking others in recovery, and decided that she did need to pick up the chip.

I'm proud of her for putting it out there and for pursuing it when she was first given a pass by her sponsor. I'm glad that she's taking this stuff seriously and that it seems that for today, she's not sliding further down that slippery slope. I'm glad that she came to me and told me. I understand why I was the last to know, but that part is painful. The other part that's hard is the reality distortion. Just last weekend, we were at a recovery conference together and she was celebrating 6 months clean. Stupid me talked about how cool it is that they honor 18 months and that she'll be able to stand up for that next year. I was also starting to look forward to her finally having a year clean and being able to speak to my naranon group. What I now know is that she really didn't have 6 months when she was standing up dancing and cheering. I do struggle with that reality distortion thing. Oh well. I have tools. So does she. For today, she's taking her recovery seriously. I can't really ask for more than that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hung up on my mother

Hmmm. It's interesting that my title can be taken two ways, and while I meant it literally, the other way is also true. I AM hung up on my mother. She still has a lot of power over me. She's very invested in trying to control me and I'm just as invested in not letting her.

Today, she shared a very reasonable concern for my safety. The problem is that she has shared this concern before and had my sister in law share it too. Today she reminded me that she and my sister-in-law shared this concern and told me that she had found a newspaper article that she wants to send me about the concern. She told me all about the dire consequences that will happen if I don't take the action she wants me to take and that I have to take that action to protect all the members of my family.

Every time she took a breath, I told her "thank you for your input." She asked me why I was thanking her for her input and why I wasn't doing what she was telling me to do. I told her that I understand how frustrating it is when you want someone to do what you believe is good for them. (GOD, DO I UNDERSTAND!!!!) She told me that she wasn't frustrated, she was panicked. Actually, I totally get that too. Finally, I told her that I understood what she wants me to do, and if she continues to discuss it that I'd hang up. She continued. I told her I love her and hung up. Later, I called back and left her a message saying that I love her and that she is welcome to suggest that I do something but she is NOT welcome to insist.

You know, the truth is that she is absolutely right about what she's saying. And I really do get that controlling comes from fear. It was a good reminder of what I look like when I'm trying to get my partner to do things the way I want her to, and that the more controlling I am, the less likely that she, or anyone else, is going to do things the way I want them to, no matter how right I might be.

Thanks mom! That wasn't the lesson you intended for me, but it's the one I got. Just for today.