Thursday, November 17, 2016

The (U.S.) Election - Politics and Al-Anon

I live in a very pro-Hillary Clinton area. My workplace is predominately a Democratic environment. Not everyone supports her though, myself included. I tend to go 3rd party and this election was no different. 

The election and the aftermath have not been easy. I know people who supported Trump and they are practically hiding in the closet even though Trump won. It shouldn't be like this, but it is.

My message to everyone though, regardless of where you stand, is this... If you are reading this post then you probably have some experience with a 12-step program. It's time to pull that stuff out and use it.

Let Go and Let God.
Let go of expectations!
Is it Necessary?
Have faith. Everything is going to be ok.
You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it! I don't care how you voted. You alone did not do this! The electoral college does the voting. Not you. Not me.
Detach if you need to. That's ok. Protect yourself.
Boundaries can be good things.
You don't have to love it, but you have to accept it.
Use the Serenity Prayer.

What else?  What tools from Al-Anon, or elsewhere, have you been using to cope?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

close call

My last post was almost six months ago here. It's funny how time slips by but really it's true I haven't had much to say. We didn't visit my mother this summer, or my father-in-law in another state. We stayed with ourselves doing things for just the three of us. It was easier that way.

Recently my mom had a health issue that was worse than originally thought. The end result was a surgery which was scheduled for this past Monday. I offered to visit repeatedly and she said no, don't come. I respected that and stayed in my corner of the world. The day before the surgery it dawned on her how serious this might be. She still didn't want me nearby though so we stayed in touch by phone. I got the hospital numbers and the number for the doctor and on Monday I made calls and held my breath. The surgery went long and recovery went long. She made it to ICU though and then stayed there extra long. She's out of ICU now and still in the hospital. She wants to go home tomorrow but I don't know if that will happen. In the hospital they've discovered other things that maybe hadn't been noticed before. I'm not sure what will be decided. All I can do is call and listen to the nurses and listen to her and wait.

I'm still waiting for the other shoe to fall. It feels like we came very close this week. My suitcase has been sitting nearby. I've got it half packed. I've got my credit card and AAA card and all of that. My husband and daughter know that on a dime I may have to leave town. Just waiting for that call.

And then instead last night a friend of mine who lives less than 2 hours from my mom... she came home and found her husband passed away. I'm just shocked. It's not fair. There was no warning.

I've been waiting for years, and especially this week, but instead this. There is no justice and even though the two events are not connected to each other at all I feel it. Not rational I know but real to me. So shocked and unfair.

Other things are going on too. Things I have more control over and I'm just on edge waiting for some kind of release. I hope when my mom gets home I can cry. I need to release that but honestly I'm not sure if she'll go home. I won't know until they tell me what's next.

Just taking it one day at a time and riding this roller coaster ride whether I want to or not. I'm trying to be detached but I'm failing. I'm pulled in because I still love her and I know this is serious stuff.

I am trying, trying, trying to Let Go and Let God. It's all I can do.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Still here.... but detaching

I stopped writing for a while. Just stopped. I'm trying to get back into it now, slowly.

The last time I posted here, way back in October, I was blogging about depression. I'm still fighting that, but keeping it quiet. I don't believe there is a magical cure. I'm just doing what I can on my own.

I talked to my mother yesterday, the inspiration for this blog, and she's just... well I'm doing my best to detach. She's okay, but she's medicated. The addiction is just consuming her. I wonder if she'll outlive us all or if her days are numbered. I really, really have to let go. I know my daughter misses her but even my daughter... she is starting to see that my mother is different.

The generation gap is alive and well of course. My husband and I have been having fun telling our 10-year old about things that didn't exist in our childhood. Yesterday an example was YouTube. My mom doesn't have a computer. I think she's HEARD of YouTube maybe, but she doesn't really know much about it. My daughter got on the phone and was telling her that she's been making videos which she hopes to post to YouTube. I tried to imagine my mother's thought process. She's probably wondering when we bought our daughter a video camera or something to start with, but really... she's lost and confused and she told me so. It's only going to get worse Mom. Sorry.

So my mother's world is shrinking in a way. She doesn't read books, she doesn't travel, she doesn't get many visitors. She watches tv, goes where the apartment van takes her, and spends her time in her senior citizen apartment building. She's not political, not active, and can't drive. She medicates, smokes, and drinks, and her days and nights go by.

I just need to let it go.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fighting the depression

I don't have time to post much right now. I realize it's been a long time since I've blogged here. I'm fighting the depression as hard as I can. One night this past weekend I was frustrated that I couldn't find something. I got really upset about it. Really, really upset and I just brought myself down into this hole. On the outside you wouldn't know what I am feeling. I am putting on the face, uniting the family to do fun fall family things and I am going to work every day. Inside though I am splitting into pieces. I know from experience though that I have to just keep going.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Does your faith sustain you?

I was thinking about this earlier today. Does your faith sustain you? Can you turn to it when you are trying to sort out a secular problem? Or do you go to church on Sundays and forget about it the rest of the week?

What about your Al-Anon program? Is it just something you focus on during a meeting, or when you are dealing with the alcoholic in your life? Or do you use the tools when coping with other things in life?

I haven't been to meetings in a long, long time but the tools I have gained from those meetings, and from the literature which I still have, stays with me. I try to apply it to my daily life.

My husband needs to see his doctor. Know what? It's NOT MY PROBLEM. I have to let that go and let him live his own life.

We bought a new car. I feel guilty, Know what? I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. I am allowed good things in life. Just because my mother doesn't have a car (too many DUIs) doesn't mean I deserve something less for myself. I need to let go of the guilt!

My kid has days when she chooses to be in a bad mood. Know what? I can't control it, I didn't cause it, and I can't cure it. (Granted I check myself to make sure I didn't cause it.) I need to let that go too.

Every day, multiple times a day, I find myself using the tools from Al-Anon.

Whether you use the tools from Al-Anon or the tools from your favorite religious teachings I hope they sustain you through good times and bad.

Monday, June 29, 2015

update on mom & etc.

Obviously the blog isn't always first on my list. :-)

My mom is home and stable. She had some help, and I think she's still getting some, but she settling into a new normal. Ultimately we decided not to run right down there. We will see her in August as part of a larger vacation.

I've been the "bad daughter" and not been calling as often as she would like me to. I do not want the drama that I know I will get when she answers the phone. She's really under weight at this point and has been told not to exercise because she can't afford the calorie burn. On the one hand I understand the logic, but on the other hand I worry about the lack of muscle and about her getting weaker. It's not my life though. It's not my battle to wage. I keep my distance and let her live her way. She'll do it her way anyway. No point in stressing myself out about it.

So "my program" of detachment is working for now. It may get more interesting as we get closer to that visit in August. It will be a short one. Lots of time on the road and not a lot of time to actually visit.

I turned to Hazeldon's website, but today's quote doesn't really match my thoughts here. Still, it's a good resource. Look it up, if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

First Things First

First Things First:
The slogan, “First Things First” helps us to set reasonable priorities and to
keep a realistic perspective. This slogan helps us to make choices we are
comfortable with, and to act with balance rather than react to crises.

I thought of this slogan as I emerged from the parking garage this morning on my way to my work desk. I have a list in my pocket this week of all the things I need to do. I don't always have a list like this but between planning my daughter's birthday, my mom being in the hospital, trying to hold down a job, and everything else going on I found it helpful to make one. Unfortunately things keep getting added to the list, and other things don't always go as planned.

Last night I had planned on working on taxes. Instead I spent the time on the phone with my mother, relatives, her neighbor, and others in her network trying to coordinate care and a flow of information.

Now today I am back at work and the to-do lists have grown. I need to prioritize because I cannot do it all now. So First Things First.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Update on Mom & family

Oops! I let February and March go by without posting after promising to get back on track. I'm sorry dear readers.

In January I posted that my mom spent New Years in the hospital, well she just spent Easter in the hospital as well. She fell down and broke a couple things and needed surgery on Easter morning. There was some question as to whether they would do the surgery because of her heart condition but they decided to go forward.

I want to get away from the details of her health though. Al-Anon teaches us to focus on ourselves, not on others. It scared me that she fell while in the process of trying to start her moped/scooter. She was trying to drive. I'm not sure she'll be driving anything again. I can certainly hope for that anyway. I'm still talking about mom, aren't I? Well I'm getting there.

One of my fears over my lifetime is that she would go to jail for her crimes. This current stint in the hospital is giving me hope that maybe that won't be the case. How much trouble can she get in if she loses her ability to drive? While it will pain her mentally, it gives me some peace of mind to see her confined somewhat.

I am struggling with guilt and obligation right now. Trying to weigh whether I should visit or not. Visiting isn't just a drive across town. It's a significant investment of time, money, and energy. Right now my thinking is that I will wait it out and maybe visit when she's back in her apartment again unless I need to go down sooner for a legal obligation or something. It's not that I lack compassion, I'm just not sure I can be of use.

I've said to my friends recently that my husband and I are entering that sandwich period in life where we are still raising a child and also being faced with our parents being more needy. What do they each need? How can we be there for them without being in the way? These are questions we are asking ourselves. How to be a parent to our parents without insulting our parents is not easy stuff. We're just starting to navigate those waters I think.

When a parent passes away the lines are clearly defined as to what needs doing, but when a parent is in "ill health" it can be a little tricky deciding when to drop everything to get to his/her side. We have another parent who is telling us not to visit but isn't well either. I think we are wanted, but the words we are hearing tell us otherwise. For us to go and visit would be disrespectful I think so we are holding off. If they lived somewhere that was convenient we might get away with saying we were in the neighborhood, but that isn't the case. I do hope we can see them this summer though, somehow. Again, negotiating all of that FOG and also being aware that our parents are getting older, and our time left together is getting smaller.

As the snow melts and school vacations approach I am full of worry and wonder about what the coming months will bring.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Trying to get back on track

I was reading another person's Al-Anon blog and happened to look over to the sidebar see my Tari's Steps blog listed. Saw that I had not updated in over a year!! Ooops!

So I am going to try to get back on track with posting here. One thing that has held me back is that I feel less anonymous than I did when I first started this thing and I am worried that people who know me, or maybe even people who don't know me, will judge me in some way. I need to let that go. I can't let other people's opinions of me hold me back. Right?

So here we go.... a year plus 2 months has passed since I last wrote. What's happened? Not much is new. My mom is still sick, I am still dealing with boundary issues with my family, and life goes on. I'll give you the update though.

My mother's weight is down to under 100 pounds. Last I heard she was at 96. She spent several hours of New Years in the hospital with chest pains but ultimately walked out in frustration. Her heart is weak. She's still drinking and she's on at least a dozen prescriptions for various things and seeing a variety of doctors. She believes she's had some mini-strokes as well. She'll be 65 in a couple of months.

My brother got in touch with me on Facebook and we seemed to be connecting. He was due to be a father for the 6th time, and I imagine the baby may even have been born by now. When he asked me to contact mom and say "thank you" for him I refused. He's in his 30s and I think he is old enough to say "thank you" himself. If he can't then maybe he should return the gift. So he responded by blocking me out of his life. I guess I should call someone and find out if my youngest niece or nephew has been born yet. I think it was a niece they were expecting.

Meanwhile my home life goes on. I get older, I get heavier, and my daughter pushes on with elementary school growing as kids do. My husband has had some health scares and I've done my best to apply what I've learned in Al-Anon to those scares as well. I need to work hard to let things go and to take things one day at a time sometimes. I can't fix it all. I can only take care of what is mine to take care of.

And so life goes on. Again, I'll try to be better this year, in 2015, about keeping up with things.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

wow, has it really been since August?

So we had that vacation. My mother hasn't mentioned her cancer lately. She had a scare where she thought she had MS, but she doesn't. Something is going on with her, but what else is new?

I had a challenge to my boundaries and I passed it I think. Life keeps going on. I keep going on, although sometimes I wonder why. I wonder why I am still here when so many of my peers are already gone. Depressing thoughts.

The weather is colder now, the days are darker, and the holidays approach us.

I am here. I am hanging on. I hope you are too.