Saturday, November 22, 2008

moving on one day at a time

Well things have settled down around here since we saw the famdamily therapist. We had our first session as a family and I am still trying to process the whole thing. My oldest has been in therapy since March and I felt it hasn't been helping especially with that last episode. But I have to say that the therapists insights were pretty accurate about my girl so I will continue with this form of therapy for a while and if she has another blowout it was recommended to call 911. Personally I feel that I am doing all I can and like I said we have been getting along pretty well. I went to a meeting after therapy and it was about empathy, how appropriate. Today is my honey's bellybutton birthday and I just had orthoscopic knee surgery yesterday. So I am unable to get or do anything for him. My oldest made him a cake for dessert and a quiche for breakfast and has been a huge help with house work and the kids since I am all laid up. I have made sure that I am not taking too many pain pills, I only took 3 yesterday and I haven't had any today, I am testing the pain level to see if I really need a narcotic. Unfortunately they gave me this anti-inflammatory that does not allow me to take ibuprofen or aleve, so I think I will cut the pill in half to help because it really is not that bad but I wish I could take my over the counter meds. I know my pain is not that bad, I am very blessed to have so little pain. This last week I buried myself in service work, I created artwork for our regional convention, ordered pre-registration shirts, got prices for coffee mugs and I am not even on the convention committee. I also got most of the regional minutes done and the newsletter files loaded onto my computer. I just stepped up to be our regional newsletter editor. I tried to get as much stuff done as possible before my surgery so that I could relax only now I am so restless that I may be overdoing it a bit by blogging. I haven't even needed the crutches today and they told me these bandages won't be able to come off until Monday. There is this "Iceman" pack thing in my wrap that has these 4 inch thick tubes that are about a foot long that connect to an ice cooler to keep the swelling down, I turned that off last night, my surgery was yesterday morning, and now I have this blu rubbery footlong tube thing hanging out of my leg that I can't remove until Monday. Am I being impatient, YES, I am an addict and patience is not our strong point. But I am grateful to be feeling better and will be getting back to my computer soon. I need to put my leg up for now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Life on life's Terms

It has been almost four years since I last used drugs. I am very proud of the recovery and progress I have made in my life. And yet it is still so hard to be powerless. It is still so hard to accept the past when it is staring you square in the face. So how do you get past the past when it takes the form of your fifteen year old daughter? How do you learn to not follow in your parents footsteps. I am not saying my parents were bad parents, I am not angry with them anymore. However, I know now through working the steps that I have worked that they were not always right in the decisions that they made. Nobody is perfect, we all have flaws, however some mistakes make wounds that are harder to heal then others. Some mistakes are recurring mistakes past on from generation to generation. How do you change the direction of the future if you are powerless. What I mean is my daughter is very, very emotional right now. She is full of pent up rage, sadness,abandonment and is lashing out these days in ways I had done when I was her age. My fear is that she is going to choose the same path in life as I did and I am powerless to stop that. When my mother died she lost her safety net, she has not dealt with that yet. I have been working hard on my recovery to show her I am not running again and I do have empathy with her feelings of anger at me. This weekend we had a confrontation with her that ended in her slapping her stepfather in the face knocking his glasses off and breaking them. If that wasn't the biggest shocker his response to her after sending her to her room was to go in there and hug her and tell her that we love her. He kept asking her why was she doing this, and didn't she know we are not her enemy? They both sat there and cried. Then she came out to me to apologize and cry. It is like she has not allowed herself time to grieve my mother and she is letting it all come out sideways. The problem is that I was so angry with her that I wanted to kick her spoiled little butt. My mother and older sister were like this and one ugly night they ended up on the floor of the dining room beating each other up. My sister got the worst of it but I felt my moms anger that night and I still feel it now. So how do I not do what my mother did and kick her out, how do I not be angry with her. I am tired of trying with her. Nothing I do will change the past or her mind and in the meantime I have two little girls who need me now too and what's more is they want me. I'm struggling with this because I love my baby very very much and I feel like these lies and this stand off is her way of pushing me so far away because she hates me. If I follow my mothers footsteps I will kick her out of the house, if I follow my fathers I will co-sign her bad behavior and pretend it didn't happen and give her back her freedoms. Where is my middle ground. How do I look my daughter in the face and not be angry with her. I will pray for my higher power to save me from my anger for now. I have feelings today, some good and some not so good but they are all feelings today. I will not run from my feelings today I will work them out. This is my life on life's terms and I have faith that it will be OK. That will leave me with today's thought "Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people brings happiness."--Rabbi Harold Kushner

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Remembering the Past and my Mom

"Letting go", was the title of today's meditation from my literature. It was 10 months ago today my mother died. It was 5 years ago today that my father died. I was so devastated that I wanted to die. That is when I stuck a needle in my arm. That was the beginning of the end for me. The next year was a flash of nothing but stealing, bad hotel rooms, jails and an overdose in one of those sleazy places that almost killed me. Later, I remember being dope sick and I was very angry at my mother. I had just gotten out of jail and needed a fix. I had just spent the last year away from my family coming and going as I pleased and my baby was so worried that she stayed up all night crying and praying for me and I didn't care. I remember trying to pack everything up in my van and telling my daughter to pack her things we were leaving. I remember her telling me no. She said no mom, I am not going with you, I love you if you want to go then go I will stay here with grandma. I remember I was angry with her for that so I left to go get high, but I had no money. I had been sick for a few days, then I remember when my fingers started hurting. I looked up and my fingers were hurting, there was a policeman fingerprinting me and I told him "You're hurting my fingers." That was the first thing I felt in a while was my fingers. Then I sat in jail for a while longer, and I started to hurt. And I remembered my baby and the words she said to me and I wanted to make it better. So I decided that I was done using and I was going to go home and fix what was broken. I found out I couldn't do it alone. I tried for four months and I was having horrible fits of rage and I just couldn't function. I remember beating the tiles on the bathroom floor for hours I still have callouses on my knuckles from it. I left my house and wandered the streets all night that night. I wanted to do something to get me thrown in jail with the rest of the garbage because I was worthless. I remember going to the hospital where the waiting room is for people who have babies, it was warm and they had free coffee. I called my mom in the morning and she asked me where was I so I told her. She asked if it would be ok to bring me some sandwiches because I had to be hungry. I told her that would be fine but I was not coming back home. When she got there she asked me to come home. I told her "Why do you want me home? Mom, I can't even think right, I am worthless I stole all your money why do you want me home?" and she told me "Baby, don't you know how proud of you I am, I love you, you stopped all that stuff and you are trying to get better. Please come home. It will be ok." We sat there on the bench and cried together for a while, then I went home and called a treatment facility. My clean date is January 8, 2005 this is my first attempt to stop using and so far the journey has been amazing to say the least. It was not always easy and it won't always be. But today I can handle life and I wake up happy, I am no longer and Eeyore in life. Today I am a Tigger I know how very precious life is and how very lucky I am not to have been inflicted with some life threatening illness. When I first walked in the doors of NA with the gift of Desperation I was sick, sad and sorry. I was afraid of going to the doctors to see what was wrong with me. I just knew I had some kind of tumor or HIV or Hep C. I knew it. As it turns out my tumor was a baby, I was 6 months pregnant. No idea, none. Shortest pregnancy on record I found out I was pregnant on September 9th and my baby was born on December 28th 2005. Then I go and have another baby on December 15th the following year!! They will both be 2 years old for 13 days next month!! I have the ability today to love my life, and my family.I don't yell at my babies and we play so much. I love them so much it hurts and I love them some more still. As I stated earlier my mother died 10 months ago today. She had cancer and I took care of her during that. I am still letting go of her a little everyday and I miss her so very much. I am grateful today for my father dying, though it is bittersweet he was my best freind. I am grateful though because if he had not died I would still be using. I never would have stuck that needle in my arm, I never would have hit my bottom and come into recovery. Because my father died, my mother was able to hold my hand and walk me through my darkest hours. Because my father died I was able to hold my mothers hand as she walked through her darkest hours and for the love we have together through working these steps in recovery, I was able to let go, a little at a time. And for today's meditation, Many of us have said; "Take my will and my life, Guide me in my recovery, and Show me How to live." Just For Today Meditation book for November 15th.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


One of the things we first learn in the program is the first tradition. We may not fully understand the implications of it at first, but like the literature says, slowly over a period of time, it is still one of those first cliches we hear in the rooms over and over again. Personal recovery depends on NA unity. I always think of this tradition after a weekend of service work. I could not tell you how many hours I log in for service in the fellowship what I can tell you is this is the one thing that has saved my butt many, many times. Service work keeps you in the middle of the fellowship. If you are still unsure of which way you are going to take your recovery, weather more into the program or teetering on the edge of a relapse, I guarantee you that if you are in the middle of the solution it is much harder to fall off the edge. It is so important when working with fellow members that we remember the first tradition and why we are here. This weekend I was so proud of my area service committee for the first time in months we were not just complaining about the lack of participation, we were actually creating solutions for our problems. It was wonderful to see the area members participate in fruitful conversations that not only had solutions but also included newcomers. It was wonderful to get focused on the solution and get our message out there to the still suffering addict. So I thank my H.P. for giving me this gift to blog and get my thoughts all worked out and get my agenda for today going. I thank the support I get from this wonderful fellowship and the beautiful women in my life today that are there on the other end of the phone when I call to complain and for my thought today,"Today, I will focus on asking God to show me what He wants me to do. I will ask God for the power to do that; then I will go ahead and get the job done. God, help me let go of my fears about living one day at a time. Help me trust that when life is lived simply and in trust, a beautiful mosaic called "my life" will be woven. I am being divinely led, guided, and cared for."- Melody Beatty "The Language of Letting Go" pg. 313

Friday, November 7, 2008

Something Different

Today I am going to cook something different. When I was using, I never tried anything different. The Basic Text of NA states that "we had to have something different..." but it is funny to think back at all the not so different things I wasn't open too. When I went out to a restaurant I always had the same thing. My favorite restaurant is Saigon here in Wichita and I always order the #49 with spring rolls. It is so good and why mess with something if it is good. That was how I thought about a lot of things. I was afraid of trying anything new, going places I never had been or even meeting new people. I kept myself very isolated from the world and it kept me safe from harm, but alone. All my recipes that I cooked with I never strayed from. I was afraid of trying out even new spices because if they didn't taste good a whole meal would be wasted. I know some of that comes from my fear of wasting food, and while that is a good fear however, through working the steps today I know that most of that fear was self centered ego. I didn't want to make something that tasted bad. I did not want to be responsible for making something that nobody liked. I did not want to be responsible for making a bad judgment call or even so much as be responsible for making a bad decision on something to eat. Basically I did not want to be responsible, in essence what that did was take away my personal power to be a responsible individual. It is so crazy to hear myself say these things today. Today is so different from then. I take chances and try different things. Sometimes they are good things and sometimes they are bad. I know that everything that I try that is different today is a learning experience, weather it is something that is a good learning experience or bad I learn more and more what I do and do not like. This teaches me more about myself. This is so different from my view of life and myself when I was using and how close minded I was to trying something different just because it may or may not be bad. Today I can take a situation or any experience and use it to learn what I like and what I don't like in everything life has to offer. That is such a gift today, because even when I have bad experiences and especially when those "life on life's terms" come and hit me square in the face I can learn from them. I am so grateful for my recovery today I have a few 24's in my belt today and it is safe to say I still have a lot of learning to do. The difference is that today I am eager to experience all that life has to offer and that is the gift of recovery for me. And in the words of the late great Rosalind Russell "Life's a Banquet, and Most Poor Suckers are Starving To Death!!" From the original movie "Auntie Mame" and for me I am no longer starving to death, so I will go to make some Fried Apples with Cranberries as a side for something different for dinner.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fear and Worry

Today I paid an old bill. I pulled my credit report last week and sent off for the two other credit agencies that I could not get off line and today I paid off one bill. This puts me closer to my dream of cleaning up my credit. It has taken me almost 4 years in recovery to even look at my own debt. I never in my using days would even attempt to look at this stuff. Guilt and shame kept me from doing the right thing and paying off my debt. Old habits die hard they say and for this little addict it takes an atom bomb to go off in my head to kill some of mine. One of my habits was if I had a couple of bucks I would spend them, it never occurred to me that I had no business spending money when I had old debts to pay. Another habit was and still is lack of commitment. I couldn't commit to payment plans I would start off good then something would come up because of course I would make just enough for my bills but then I would forget about things like gas and groceries or what if my car needed repair, then a payment would not get made, then I would get further and further behind like quicksand. Now I am not blaming my upbringing in anyway I am just stating the facts and that is that I was never taught about things like a budget, or savings and why you should have one. Today I listen to Suze Orman and I can tell you she is one of my hero's in life. This is an amazing woman who really wants to help everyone not just women but everyone have financial freedom. And you know I own a copy of her "9 Steps To Financial Freedom". And her first step that she has and says in her shows every week is to "STOP SPENDING MONEY!!!" I didn't know how to do that, I would stop at the gas station every chance I had, If I had some change and get a pop or a candy bar, you know a couple bucks here and there, they won't pay off a bill anyway. That is the hardest thing for me to do is not to spend money. But I have I have stopped taking every little penny I get and buying junk food and not having anything to show for it but bigger hips, now I still have bigger hips, however I was able to squirrel away almost $700.00 and today I paid off a creditor in the amount of $405.00. I still do not have an income and the little allowance I get I put away as I agreed to and it feels pretty good to have kept my word for once in my life and actually pay a debt with some of my money. Tomorrow I will call one of my other creditors and continue on my journey to financial freedom. One thing I won't do is allow my fear and worry stop me from taking charge of my life. One thing was asked of me and that is to try and negotiate with some of these creditors and make sure that I do owe the money. This gives me great fear, for who am I to ask someone I owe for a discount?!? I mean I know some of the debt is inflated but after all it would not be there at all if I paid it off in the first place now would it, however I agreed to ask to pay less and I agreed to not give out any bank information simply to protect myself. It is mostly fear and my feelings of unworthiness that prevent me from standing up for myself. So today my financial guru will be the meditation fo the day and I leave you with this little gem; "That’s what controlling your financial destiny comes down to: knowing what to do and what not to do— and having the conviction and confidence to go out and do it. Not just think about it. Or intend to do it next week or next month.To actually do it. Right now."
Suze Orman- "Women and Money" pg. 15