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Class of October 2013 - Part 14

Old 09-03-2015, 05:58 AM
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what about mental illness tho WD?

D
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:57 AM
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Dee, I don't pretend to have all the answers. There is certainly a physical component to the treatment of what we label as mental illness.

How do you view alcoholism?
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:13 AM
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I think a lot of people use alcohol to self medicate other underlying issues. I think it would be very hard for a truly healthy person to stay alcoholic. A person with self introspection (versus self centeredness), is able to see that they have a problem and is able to find help/solutions. A truly mentally ill person is not capable of seeing themselves in a realistic fashion. I think healthy people can get addicted to alcohol, but I think it is easier for a healthier person to kick the habit.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:21 AM
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Whodey, you are right. What I am experiencing is growing pains. I need balance. My life used to look like this: Do what I think others expect of me. Look the part. Do my best. Follow the formula and everything will turn out perfectly and controlled. Squelch my feelings/needs with alcohol. I only matter if I am needed, if I provide the competence for others lives. But then seething with resentments that these people aren't reciprocally fulfilling my needs. (even though that is not their job to do it)

Change is scary. I think the level of rage, anger, hurt and resentment that came tumbling out of me this weekend, shocked both my husband and myself. I want the quick and easy fix. But recovery is a process and I need to trust myself and the Universe to work through this recovery in God's time, not my time.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDragons View Post
Cindy, as usual, your posts are incredibly helpful. I have been experiencing more anxiety than usual and you are right, gratitude lists and thinking of things that I can do for others really helps with this.

My husband and I had a very good clearing of the air. As painful as it was, I think it was needed. We are both codependent, people pleasing types from dysfunctional backgrounds. So, we are both really good at holding everything in until it all just explodes. We both talked about each of us having individual needs that have to be fulfilled in our own ways. While I don't miss the particulars of my old job, I do miss having a job, so I am going to be working on my resume this week or weekend and start putting some feelers out.

Also, I am seriously considering joining AA, mostly because I think I could greatly benefit from doing the steps and working with a sponsor, especially when I hear how beneficial your relationship has been, Cindy. Also, I would like to meet some fun, sober people to hang out with. How did you find your sponsor? How did you know she is the right one? Honestly, I have huge trust issues and somehow, I always seem to end up in relationships where I am the helper/guider/leader. I really don't want to fall into that trap because I feel like I really need some help and guidance from an emotional sobriety viewpoint.

Thanks again, Cindy!
You're welcome! The cool thing about AA is that you don't have to join or not join. You can go to a meeting (or 10) and just check it out. There are all types of meetings too. Open meetings are for everyone - they usually have a speaker or two and the "audience" doesn't participate. There are gender specific meetings, meetings on the big book of AA and meetings on the 12 steps, there are also open topic meetings where someone in the group brings up whatever issue they are experiencing that is affecting their peace of mind. There are smoking, nonsmoking, indoor, outdoor, meetings in churches, coffee shops, whatever. They are everywhere and my point is if you go and you don't like it maybe try a different one before you throw in the towel.

This is my 3rd sponsor. The first two were not good. Just being honest. Thing is...it's not a marriage and you have to do what keeps YOU sober. If that means you move onto the next person then so be it. I listened to the women in meetings and tried to pick out those that I relate to that talk about working the steps and using the program as a way of life. AA is made up of working the steps, going to meetings (fellowship) and service to others (in any capacity, not just AA). Have a couple of conversations and see who does more talking - you or them...pick the listener.

It might take a couple of tries but it is worth it to find the right person. I love working with my sponsor. I have learned more in this last three months then the rest of the time combined in my almost two years. In my whole life!

Best thing about AA for me is that people don't give me advice, they don't tell me what I should do. They tend to share their similar experiences and that gives me other ways to look at things. I have also learned so much about spirituality. I am not a religious person at all and church is not my thing. But I can get with being part of a universe in sync and am comfortable with the idea of a creator or great spirit behind it all. I am so much more at peace now.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. It works for me and I have met so many great people that do fun things, sober. I would love to see the looks on the people's faces when you go in and tell them it's your first meeting and you have been sober almost two years. LOL that is most definitely not the usual.

One last thing from me - your continued search to be a better person is one of my favorite things about you. It's what brought you here, it's what got you sober, just a guess but I am sure it is one of the reasons your hubs loves you as a partner. It is an inspiring characteristic you have. Don't give up on that ever!

XOXO
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WhoDey View Post
... even more rambling ...

Gratitude. I always considered myself as a person with gratitude. I had an event, however, some twenty plus years ago that knocked the piers out from under my view of self. I was stripped bare and started from scratch. I can speak at some other time about that event, but it humbled me to the core. I knew without a doubt that I was a flawed creature and that any illusions I had regarding "right thinking" were just that ... illusions. My gratitude went to an entirely different level.

I have not used AA, but I have been tempted to check out a meeting for one reason. In a world where everyone acts like they've got it together, I think it remarkable for there to exist a community where members understand at a deep level their own powerlessness and who cultivate a reliance upon something outside of themselves. You might think that is an environment that you would find in most churches, but I wonder. Even at church we act like we have it all together when sometimes the truth is that we are falling apart.

So how does that relate to gratitude? You may have heard the Leonard Cohen song "Anthem." I often think of the chorus:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
I have lived those words. Thoughts of perfection left me a long time ago as I have my cracks. Yet, rather than dwell on being flawed, I try to focus on the light that is revealed as a result.

DD ... I said that you're very intelligent, but you're also very honest. Oh, for more honest people in the world! Find your cracks and then accept them rather than fight them as something to fix ... as something to perfect. Rather use them as windows.

... end of ramble.
You are right about the people at AA (in my experience). Humility is the basis of living a spiritual life. Finding the ways we are alike rather than pointing out the differences. With this in mind we come together on a common ground and work together. So many different kinds of people doing the same thing, fighting the same battle.

Sending hugs to you, friend. I love those lyrics and their message.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:58 PM
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I don't have all the answers either WD

I view it as a problem I keep managed as long as I don't drink or get high and I continue to live by the personal and spiritual standards I've set myself in my recovery.

That's not meant to be an obfuscatory answer.

I spent years trying to define my problem, but in the end, for me, the solution didn't need me to define what the problem was....I just needed to stop drinking, getting high, and stop running from myself.

if I do this, this, and this, I have a great life - it works for me

D
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:41 AM
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Dee ... Thanks for the reply. We approach it from the same angle. The label attached to the problem doesn't matter. The solution does.

Carry on Tobers. I'm am so looking forward to the holiday weekend!
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:08 AM
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Started the job search. I feel energized and better already!
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:32 AM
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That's great, DD!
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:39 AM
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Quote from W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951, an account of an expedition to Mount Everest:

'But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money--booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:41 AM
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Going into my sobriety journal, WD. Thank you!!
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:33 AM
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Hi guys - been a rough couple of days. I am trying not to revert to my old habits of pushing people away and holing up in my house. My oldest daughter and I had an intense exchange of emails yesterday. She is so full of hatred and anger towards me that I fear we will never get a relationship back in place. My sponsor reminds me that every person has to walk their own path and all I can do is work on being the best me that I can. I get all that but I am still sad over the loss. I miss her. I feel desperate to convince her that I am not this terrible person she has made me out to be. Our emails yesterday just further proved to me that there is nothing I can say to change her mind.

AA Guy is all up in my a$$ about talking things out and how worried about me that he is and honestly, all of that just makes me want to avoid him more. He told me last night - just don't push me away. I just want to be alone. It has nothing to do with him. Sigh. Just more guilt on top of the already crappy feelings.

I know this is not my normal posting mood. Just needed to get that out there.

WD - I like what you posted above. So many of my happiest changes were decisions I made on the fly as a way to put myself out there more than anything else. No reward without risk.

How are you all doing?
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:13 AM
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I'm sorry to learn that you are going through a difficult patch, Cindy. Daughters can be tough on mothers at that age. I think your sponsor has it right, work on being the best you that you can be and continue to love your daughter. She may not be able to accept your love right now in a way you'd like, but I have faith that she will come around in time.

Nothing wrong with being alone IMO during such times. Sometimes you do need to simplify things and take the time to think things out. I'm sure AA Guy will understand.

The NFL season begins tonight! I won't be able to watch the entire game (way past my bedtime!), but I'm excited about watching the first half. On a sad note, we're having leftovers tonight. Blech!
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:39 AM
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Cindy, it is not your job to be our "up, up" cheerleader all of the time. I am sorry that you are experiencing all of this hurt with your daughter. Teenagers seem to have a real nose for our vulnerabilities, don't they? I do believe this is going to be a lesson in patience for you, but not in futility. We see other people in our lives through the lens of what we are going through at the time, at the level of experiences that we have had. She is so young and has so much growing up to do before she can start seeing you through a different lens. I will keep you both in my prayers.

As for "holing" up, that is what I do when I am upset. When we went through our financial mess, I had so many friends warning me not to go into my cocoon. Whatever! I learned that was more about what they needed from me, than what I needed. You have too much positive energy to keep down for long. You'll naturally come out of your funk when the time is right or if you can't, you'll ask for help then. Take care!
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:27 AM
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I got a new part time job! It is creative and flexible and I got the offer the same day that I interviewed, so that was an ego boost! I do better with "busy" and "structure", so this is a good thing, I hope. If not, I will find something else.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:50 AM
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That's great DD! Very exciting. Creative and flexible. Awesome.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:21 PM
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So happy for you DD!
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:02 PM
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Hope thing s are a little better Cyndi?
I'm not a parent but I had a lot of anger and hatred from others to deal with too

It took a while but trust was re-established and then forgiveness.

Actions speak a million times louder than words tho, I think?

For me, people could see the change, and I didn't get all up in their face about how I was new and improved. I think that helped the reconciliation process.

Congrats DD

hi WD

D
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:59 AM
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Thanks, guys. First day is on Friday.

Other than the typical back to school stress and adjustments everything is pretty status quo here. My mom continues to be drunk on a regular basis. This morning's conversation marked Day 3 of a big old bender. It is so sad because I am hearing of all of the fun things that their siblings and friends are doing (cruises, trips to Europe, etc) and they have more material resources than all of them, yet they mostly just stay in their condo and cater to mom's alcoholism. I have come to an acceptance that things are not likely to change, but every once in a while I get a pang of sadness. Again, though, witnessing all of this, just keeps me on track of good, full, aware, clean living.
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