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Life Goes On (was Oh Well?) Part 3

Old 11-09-2020, 10:06 AM
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Life Goes On (was Oh Well?) Part 3

The last part

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...rt-2-a-25.html (Oh Well? Part 2)

Last edited by Dee74; 11-09-2020 at 03:49 PM. Reason: changed title by request
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Old 11-09-2020, 07:08 PM
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peace
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Old 11-10-2020, 04:40 AM
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:15 PM
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:07 PM
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:57 PM
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You all are the best.

Yes, fini, I daresay I'm doing as well as I sound. Life continues to present opportunities for me to work on trying to minimize my imperfections, but I've pretty much accepted that I have em and all I can do is keep trying. Not in a forlorn or dejected or self-flagellating way like I often hear people share; but in an accepting, it's not that big of a deal even though it is entirely the deal. Do you know what I mean? I've started reading "The Spirituality of Imperfection" and like it very much. Thanks for the recommendation.

Eldest has hit the place I've been hoping she would - I heard from her yesterday that she really needs to get into rehab. It's very difficult for me because I'd like to swoop in and make that happen for her, but it's something I believe she has to do for herself. What's good about that is I'm aware and I was able to express that to her without it being all about me. Even though she didn't ask me for a thing aside from listening to her and understanding, I just wanted her to know what I wanted to do it but couldn't. Just to be sure she understood and didn't feel in any way abandoned. She understands. So we've had a couple of long conversations and today's refrain was, "I have to go, but I don't want to go." I understand. She made a phone call to a place tonight, so that's a great step even though they won't take her on scholarship. She pledged to call several more places tomorrow. If I didn't already acknowledge my guardian angels, that this child of mine has avoided irrevocable catastrophic outcomes would make me a believer. Fingers crossed. Deep breaths when it feels kind of panicky. (That last sentence came out exactly how I wrote it - I guess IT the beast feels panicky.)

Hawk, I'm glad to see you flying back to the nest. Hope you'll settle in and share your thoughts or whathaveyou soon.

Grymt, thank you for christening this new thread. Beautiful. I appreciate you.

And thanks for editing the thread name, Anna. (Or was it Dee? Anyhow, thank you!) I've wanted to get to the "Life Goes On" part for a very very long time. It feels right.

Dropsie, Mizz, Tats, Sass, Cow, Dee, Rose, broster, FMN, Flips, Snazz, and whoever else I surely missed mentioning:

SoHard, are you with us? I miss you.

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Old 11-11-2020, 07:49 PM
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That is such great news to hear about the Eldest, O. Great great news. Good on you for having healthy boundaries as well.
All of this sounds so WONDERFUL! Fingers crossed for sure. Sending lots of light and love.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:28 AM
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O,
How are you on this fine November day?
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:01 PM
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Headachey! They make me think so hard at that darned work place. It's a good thing they pay me or I just wouldn't go there anymore.
Eldest found a rehab! She gets admitted Monday!!

I'm a'ight, thanks.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:22 PM
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oh wow, O.
fantastic news about eldest and her getting so proactive. how is your tongue?
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:37 PM
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My tongue?
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:39 PM
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Yes, How is your tongue, O?
(I'm not too sure why I am asking this question but fini has asked so I think its a good topic!)
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
Headachey! They make me think so hard at that darned work place. It's a good thing they pay me or I just wouldn't go there anymore.
Eldest found a rehab! She gets admitted Monday!!

I'm a'ight, thanks.
Thinking hard can hurt.
Good for the Eldest. This is a big step on her part. Things seem to be moving in the right direction.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:03 AM
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O, i thought you might be biting it.
so that things wouldn't involuntarily spill out with advice to eldest about the how-and-what re rehab
Mizz, thanks for the laugh
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:40 PM
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Doin my best, fini. She felt pressured when I called around 9pm to ask her how she was doing last night. Snippy, so I bowed out with, "Seems like you're not in the mood to talk right now."

She called back an hour later, apologizing and also explaining her annoyance that she was "going to get checked up on every two minutes this weekend." I told her I was just checking in (not on) , once, but understood. And left it at "I'll be here if you want to talk."

My tongue is in fine shape, knowing (mostly) when to be still.

xo
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:30 PM
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yeah. it’s tough when we care so much, plus really do have stuff to offer but the time is not right to have it accepted. which basically means it’s not the moment to offer it.
hang in there.
really sounds like you are both doing what you need to do.
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Old 11-15-2020, 06:19 AM
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Thanks fini. Perhaps the largest gift I have to offer this girl is my experience and compassion. My understanding that for recovery to work for her she has to make it her own, to go through the hard work of getting beyond that broken and hopeless feeling by way of fully exploring and accepting/releasing those things . As far as expressing this to her in words? I pray that I will intuitively know how I can be of maximum service in her healing.

My sober home friend called yesterday. I am so happy for both of us that we remain sober and searching. She said that she was going to meet with her sponsor today to "go over" the 7th step. I curiously asked what that might entail - what were her instructions? (The 7th step is "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.") It did not surprise me that my friend's sponsor had told her to write down a list of those shortcomings. Armed with the knowledge of myself and the wisdom you all have shared which is becoming both more multi-faceted and simplified in my brain, I said, "To satisfy your sponsor, all you need is to revisit what you learned in the 4th step."

My friend said, "I'm still confused about that, though - what am I doing in this step?" At which point I happily referred her to the prayer that is the step. We ask our Higher Power to help us to be exactly who we were made to be, as that is precisely what humility is. I told her that I don't necessarily know which shortcomings stand in the way of me doing the right thing, because it depends. Sometimes an attribute of my character can be a shortcoming and at other times that very same attribute helps me to do the right thing. In this step, I just give it up and ask to be guided.

While reading The Spirituality of Imperfection this morning, a lightbulb came on. The authors characterize our sensory experiences as vehicles to connection. The prayerful act of kneeling or rocking or sitting in the lotus position is a ritual in which our physical posture is an expression of the desire to connect. Tasting or seeing or hearing something that transcends us are other physical manifestation of that connected-ness. It struck me like the proverbial ton of bricks - people practice rituals in everyday life as a way of simulating or approximating a deeper (spiritual?) connection. Or maybe for others, that actually is the real connection. Most things that "normal" people connect over have no meaning to me; allegiance to sports teams, idolization of celebrities, reciting rote prayers, pledging to the flag. I can feel a semblance of connection when I participate, but rarely does it touch my essence. Maybe this is what people mean when they so often share, "I never fit in?" So naturally, this is why finding AA and participating in the rituals and customs of the fellowship the way other people do it is sufficient for a good number of people. In my practice of spirituality, I recognize for myself that is still not enough. And it never will be. And in a circular way, my acceptance of not-enough-ness is sufficient.

The morning meeting's opening share was that ritual and merely Doing the Things is meaningless if done without mindfulness. Or maybe it's mind-less-ness. So we must continue Doing the Things.

I do so love paradox.
When simplified.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:03 AM
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Checking in on everyone. I saw my little shout-out a few posts back, O, and appreciated. There's something about the SR world that's comforting, knowing there are strangers-not-strangers out there checking in.

Doing well here. Battling the same low-grade anxiety and despair with this never-ending pandemic and a bad news-on-top-of-bad-news cycle. Trying to find the gratitude and joy. It's there, when I look hard enough.

But. Guess what happened last week?
I've long suspected my little brother (he's 43) is struggling mightily with alcoholism, but no one in my family seemed to consider it. I'd mention it every now and then, but they all thought I was nuts. I just knew, though, you know?
He's not really speaking to any of us anymore, save my poor enabling mother, because at one point or another along the years he's lost his mind on each of us, raging and cursing and accusing us of any number of perceived slights—my Dad, my sisters, me. I just knew he was a secret drinker. I knew it because I had been the same, minus the rage. (I just got sad and sobby). No one like a liar to identify a liar, right?
Last week, screaming in the midst of one of my rants, he admitted to my mother, "I think I'm an alcoholic."
I did NOT say "I told you so."

It sent her into a tailspin, for which I am trying to help comfort and support her. She wants an intervention, perhaps the worst idea ever conceived, given his rage and defensiveness and his assertion that "no one in this family has ever respected me." I don't know what we can do. He needs detox and rehab, but I'd bet the bank he won't get it. Not yet.
When I talk to my Mom about it, I'm finding it hard to choose my words. I can't speak from experience, because my family doesn't know half my story, and I have no desire to confess. They just know I identified I had a drinking problem and that I stopped. That's it. Distance and boundaries are healthy with my family. I have shared some of what I know, saying "I've made myself somewhat of an alcoholism scholar" and talking about my decision to quit, but they don't know I used to drink in public restrooms and all that other pretty stuff.
So now I know my brother is spiraling with very little to live for. If his ex has her way, he will lose his son. He is in full-on denial; after the confession, he hasn't mentioned it to my mother. I wouldn't doubt if he doesn't remember.
My poor Mom. She's the only one he has left to listen to him, but she's an enabler in that she WILL listen and will agree with everything he says, just to keep him from exploding.
I'm trying to keep my healthy distance. Just trying to support my Mom. I wish I could do more. I love him. I will always love him. But I know the healing has to come from within.

Sometimes it feels like alcoholism is e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
Sometimes I wonder how in the world I got out. How did I save myself? How lucky am I that I won't waste my life? In my family, there are a big healthy handful of aunts and uncles, and now my brother, who are doing just that. It makes me terribly mixed up in a grateful-but-sad kind of way. Survivor's guilt, maybe? Is that a recovering alcoholic thing?

Not to steal your thread, O. Hope all is well. I was prompted to tell this story because the healthy and clear-eyed way you seem to be approaching your eldest's journey. I bet she appreciates it.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:57 PM
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FMN, thanks for sharing all of that. You didn't steal anything at all! I appreciate it when other people talk about their stuff here. It makes me feel more connected - and also trustworthy. I'm glad it looks from the outside that I'm doing the right things with eldest. I believe I am; I just can't think too much about having zero control over the outcome of this situation. She'll get it when she gets it - the best I can do is to offer my understanding and unconditional love. Not too shabby, I guess.

You also helped me to feel a little less self-conscious about my last post. Contemplating it after the fact, I thought it might have come off as judgmental of other people, which is absolutely not where my head is/was at. If I did cause offense to anyone, I do apologize. I am working through this feeling of other-ness on my part and figuring that out in a way I never could before. I'm sure it can seem like I'm talking like an anthropologist from another planet because that's exactly how it feels to me at times. "What are these strange bonding rituals; how is it that these humans find meaning in them?"


If I may be so bold, FMN, I wonder if you might be in a unique position to help your brother by telling him exactly what is was and is like for you? It sounds like he really is suffering, doesn't it? I'd wager that even if he doesn't remember bellowing his alcoholic suspicions, it's likely on his mind all. the. time. I don't know - I don't know you and don't know your situation, so please please don't take this as anything more than a suggestion. Trying to put myself in a similar place back when I just could not get out from under, I think if any one of my five siblings (except for the one brother) had called to tell me they'd found a way out and would be happy to talk with me about that?... I probably would have been moved to tears to know that someone cared enough to tell me that. No one ever did, and I'm actually pretty gob smacked that they didn't. Not a sibling, because (except for the one) I don't think they share my particular affliction. But most certainly there must have been others I encountered in my work world who could "recognize" me because they'd been there. I mean, I interact with literally scores of people on a regular basis - I don't think it's statistically possible that none of them are in recovery. This is where I'm not sure at all that anonymity is doing us any good. (She says as she types on an anonymous website.) This makes me think now of this one woman, and what I might say to her now if there looks like there might be an opening one day...

I don't think survivors guilt is a thing one need feel in recovery. If you are content, not cocky or putting yourself above the others, it's ok. You know what? It's ok to feel content - or just ok - even if others don't. You're not taking anything from them by feeling that way. Maybe you don't think you "deserve" it? You do - we all do. It's a good way of be-ing that can only add good to the world.

Slept like poop last night - not as anxious as eldest (who stayed the night here), but for sure I was somewhere in that zone. I think it was just empathy. She's now at the fairly run-down place, which we knew was going to be far from the ritzy situation I was in at the start of the year. She said, "It doesn't matter. I'm just here to get better." She also said, "What if I decide that I have to leave?" I said, "You probably will decide that you need to leave. And then you will stay." I feel oddly detached but at the same time am experiencing a deep love for her - one that moves me to whole-heartedly implore the universe to help. 28 days seemed like a very long time to me when I was entering rehab, but it seems like a ridiculously short amount of time now that she has.

So I'm sure that was scattered, but here's the bottom line: I noticed so many liquor stores on the way to the rehab and so many on the way back. I went to a place in a strip mall that was about a half dozen stores away from one of the booze-sellers. And as I was walking back to my car, I noticed a sensation of happiness, of freedom; because I didn't feel any certain kind of way about the presence of that store. It meant nothing to me.

You can bet I feel at peace about that.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:28 PM
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O, a question: how do you experience what you see as your otherness in the context of being part of a group? the “lone wolf thing” and the “belonging thing”?
though other-ness doesn’t necessarily equate lone wolf....
i’m asking not solely about you, but also because i struggle with it and would appreciate your input.
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