Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What happens when we aren't paying attention

Thanks for your comments about the Burning Man link that I posted.

This is what happens when I'm not paying attention. I actually have 3 blogs now. (I just started a new one this week.) I had MEANT to post that link on one of the other blogs. If I had done that hardly anyone would have seen it probably, and I doubt I would have gotten any comments. Instead I posted it here even though it had nothing really to do with Al-Anon, and look at that... some of you liked it!  :-)

So now I have your attention let me tell you about the third blog. I'm not going to give you a link and tell you to read it though. It's about taking care of me. Today is -1. Tomorrow is September 1st and I am setting goals for myself to lose weight and eat better. Tomorrow I begin. I've been warming up to this for about a week, but tomorrow is the official start date. The ice cream is out of the freezer and chips are no longer going on my plate. By the middle of March I want to see a lower number on that scale. I have a number in mind of course. I don't know if my plan is drastic enough to get to that number but I guess time will tell. My third blog is about losing that weight and it is tied into the website that I am using to help motivate me in that direction.

My husband has done quite well in losing the pounds, and if he can do it I know I can do it too.I am going to miss my friends Ben, Jerry, Bart, Breyer, and a few others but I know what I want for my birthday and it's up to me to make it happen.
WASHINGTON - JUNE 18:  Capitol Hill staffer Lo...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Recommended viewing

Check this out folks. Today is Day One. Looks pretty windy.


Burningman 0033Image via Wikipedia
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I saw a man in the office supply store yesterday. He had 2 kids with him, one in the cart seat and the other one walking beside him. Probably both under the age of 5. A dad out on a Sunday with his kids, maybe buying back-to-school stuff, not sure.

Then I saw the man's leg. It was metal.

I'm not sure what his story is and it's none of my business. It's a reminder though. Life could be worse for me.

When I am soaking in the self-pity I need to remind myself, and I need to be grateful that whatever his story is, it isn't mine. Attitude of Gratitude, one day at a time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Suicide or accidental death

One of the student workers died this week. I just got the news today. I also knew some friends outside of work who knew her. The whole story isn't out yet but it sounds like she overdosed on prescription medication. Whether it was accidental or on purpose I am not sure. Speculation is on both sides, and it doesn't really matter because the outcome is the same. The young woman had lost her boyfriend a month or so before when he committed suicide so I am sure she was depressed.

Whenever I hear a story like this it reminds me of those times when I have been down myself. I have attempted suicide more than once but it seems like a lifetime ago now. Whenever a doctor asks me if I've been that depressed I lie and say no because it really does feel like a different life since I met my husband. Still today I am remembering standing on the wrong side of the bridge that goes over the river, and swallowing too many pills. The pills didn't do what I wanted them to do, obviously, and I chickened out on the bridge thankfully.

Somewhere, somehow, a higher power had a different plan for me. I am grateful for that today. "There but for the grace of God go I..." as the saying goes. Today I may not always have serenity but I do have gratitude.

My heart goes out to the family, friends, and coworkers who have lost one or two friends this summer too.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

I've been invited to another fight it seems

I came home from work today and found a package on my steps. Inside the bag were small photo albums that I had made and given to my mother over the past 4 years. There were also some in frames. Most are photos of my daughter, and a few are of me, my brother, my (late) grandmother, and my mom. The letter explains that some of these are duplicates, but I know I only gave her one "Christmas 2008" album.
Christmas in the post-War United StatesImage via Wikipedia

The letter also says things like she wishes we could be friends in spite of our differences but she doesn't want to get too involved either. She says something negative about her own mother which of course I disagree with. She says she misses her granddaughter.

Really??? Then why did she come over to the house and return all these pictures that we sent her as gifts?
I think she expected me to call her, and part of me thinks that I am "supposed to" call her. That's the polite thing, right? I am too angry though. I can't think of anything nice to say. It wasn't nice of her to give back the gifts we gave her. I don't feel like saying "thank you" for that. So I haven't called her. I don't want to fight. The package seems to have a dual message to me. It feels like she is saying "I hate you" and "I miss you" at the same time, and I don't know what to do with that.

I have to remind myself that we aren't speaking for a reason. She lies to me, she called me bad names, she is dishonest and mean. I can't trust her and I know she will hurt me. Even though she seems to be reaching out to me I have to protect myself, and my family. So the phone stays silent and I feel guilty about it.
Dorothea Lange's Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the last post about this I think

I know I've posted a lot about the home improvement project, and you're all probably a bit sick of it. This project has been in the planning stages for a long time and it is so wonderful that it is finally happening, and now nearly complete.
Home ImprovementImage by Eyes4guys via Flickr

We came home Saturday and the weekend was rough. Things did not go smoothly Saturday morning and we had to call a friend for help. On Sunday we realized that the old toilet was leaking and a new one had to be purchased at the orange store and installed. Luckily we got a great deal on it.
ALGONQUIN, IL - AUGUST 19: Customers leave a H...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Anyway, things are functional again. There is still cleanup work to be done, but we are home and are settling in. 8 days in a hotel has taken its toll on all of us. It wasn't really a vacation and my husband and I are both pretty tired and fried. Serenity has been hard to find.

I did manage to get out Saturday with our daughter and listen to some good music and see my dad. That was fun! I don't have much real fun in my life, and I was glad I made the drive and did it.

Back in the "real world" I need to buckle down. I've been catching up on reading some blogs although I haven't commented much. Sorry folks. I'm not as good as Syd is about that stuff, but I am out here and I am reading. I am trying to get back to normal, whatever normal is. Easy does it.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

We finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. With the subfloor in place, and the tub in place our house began to feel whole again. On Thursday I did the floor, not perfectly I admit. On Thursday night my husband fixed some of my mistakes but let others stay. A reminder to us someday that this project was done by us, humans, not perfect, just learning as we go.

A typical stall shower with height-adjustable ...Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow morning we will leave the hotel. I think we are all homesick by now, and rather looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to the mess of home, but I am looking forward to having a kitchen and a yard again. It will be nice not to have to plan an activity and a restaurant every night. As much as I like swimming every day, I am ready for a break.
IMG_6560.jpgImage by Sarah and Jason via Flickr

When we get home we will need to finish the tub and the toilet. Hopefully the child will cooperate. Then we'll go do some fun things that we want to do. I'll let the husband hang with his friends, and I'll take the child to a small-town fair probably. The tub will dry. Eventually we'll need groceries, a shower curtain, and a few other things. Eventually it will get done.

In the meantime life goes on. My mother has left messages on the home machine which I have not returned. I figure I don't need to since I'm not home and not really hearing them. I'm just getting the news from my husband. Also a visit to my doctor's office this week told me that the "tests came back fine". They can't find anything wrong with me, but if I want to see a specialist for the pain a referral is available. What to do?

For this weekend I plan to just go with the flow. I'm looking forward to pajamas on a Sunday morning, maybe with coffee and pancakes. On Sunday I don't want to have to be anywhere or have anything planned.  :-)
A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still breathing...

Things did not go well. I started getting the updates right away on Friday. The biggest problem with the home repair project is that the previous owners didn't remove the old flooring, they simply built on top of it. Their laziness has caused my husband many, many hours of extra work. Losing power due to a thunderstorm didn't help things either. Whatever the reasons are, they don't really matter. The reasons, or excuses as some may say, are out of my control. I have to accept what IS. I have to remind myself that it doesn't matter how we got here, what matters is dealing with where we are now. Anger will not help. I am allowing myself to feel disappointment. I think that is acceptable. I am disappointed, very disappointed, but I am not angry. What I am doing now is working that Serenity Prayer and pulling at it. What can I change and what can't I change. What do I do next?
Angry Talk (Comic Style)Image via Wikipedia

On Monday morning we checked out of the hotel, got the kid a special lunch from Panera to bring to school, and returned the rental truck (sad to see that go). Then we went home together, just the two of us.

I had been warned. I knew in words what I was going home to see, but seeing it was still hard. Before I even got out of the car I was holding back the tears. After surveying the situation, and having the power go out while we were there in the house, we left. I brought my husband to work and found a place to do laundry. At the laundromat I used the internet to find another hotel. I booked it without checking with my husband first, and I booked it through until Friday morning. I don't know if that will be enough time. We might still need it Friday night, but we can extend the reservation if we need to I think. It's not the best hotel, and I'm afraid of the swimming pool because I know that at least one person has died in it. However it does have wireless internet and a microwave and refrigerator in the room (which our weekend hotel did not have). Really, I want to go home. I'm tired of eating out, I miss my yard, and I'm tired of entertaining a child. Thank goodness she's in school during the day at least.

Home repairs are never easy. Being married isn't always easy. Being a parent isn't easy. Trying to do all 3, plus work full-time.. not easy. We will get through this. We will survive. It could be worse. Soon this will all be a memory. I am still breathing.
A swimming pool.Image via Wikipedia

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breathe in... breathe out

This is one of those times that I'm caught off guard. I didn't expect this to be so hard and yet here I am. My husband and I are pulling at each other. I am constantly reminded by myself and by him to detach and let go. This time it's letting go of my husband. We have a home repair project that as I write this is probably underway at least a little bit. My husband is in charge and is doing most of the work himself. However I keep butting in. "Shouldn't you be doing this? Did you think about that....?"  and his reply "Do you trust me or not honey? I told you I can do this, now get out of my way and let me do this. You have your own list..."

and he's right of course. My job is to stay out of his way for the yesterday and today. Then tomorrow I take orders and help out as needed. Then Saturday and Sunday my job is to keep the child away from the house and entertained. I got to pick the hotel at least. :-)

Today my husband called me at work a few times and told me of the "discoveries" he was making. Added layers of work, added money to be spent at the big orange store, added time spent doing the work.

I plan to leave our house on Friday afternoon, after helping him for the day. On Monday I hope to return to a functioning home, that functions the way that it does today with all the things working. In the meantime I need to be practicing and practicing my letting go and letting god, my detaching, trust, the serenity prayer, and living one hour at a time.

Of course it doesn't end there either. On Saturday and Sunday I'll be mostly in "single parent mode" and I will be negotiating with our child what we will do, where we will spend our time, where we will eat, etc. It will be a seesaw ride of trying to keep her busy while not wearing myself out too much. She's got more energy than I do I think, and it can be hard to keep up.  :-)

It's all worth it if things go well, and if things don't go well... well I don't want to think about that yet. I just need to get through the rest of this afternoon first. This moment, here, this blog post, etc.

Austell, GA, November 2, 2009 -- A contractor ...Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can someone help me?

I was trying to clean out my blog reader list. There are some blogs I had that hadn't been updated in a LONG time. Somehow though I managed to let go of one that was current, one that I like to read. I can't remember the name of it. All I can remember is that the last thing I read said that the blogger's mother was "dancing her last dance" and that the blog would be quiet for a few days.

Do any of you who read this know which blog this is? Can you help me reconnect to it? I am so sad to be missing this.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Will anyone believe me?

So I'm meditating at work again today, and the thoughts are swirling around in my head. Yesterday I impulsively called the doctor's office and was lucky enough to get a late afternoon appointment that same day with a nice nurse practitioner. I told her my age and my symptoms and we both had a hunch of what the diagnosis would be. She ordered some tests. One I was able to do right away, the other will have to wait until next week. She seemed to believe me in the office, and we seemed to be on the same page.
Then today she called me to tell me that the test results from yesterday had come back and didn't show anything. This worries me a bit. If the test results don't confirm my suspicions, then what? Will I be a deemed to be a hypercondriac? Sometimes I think my primary care doctor thinks that of me. I tell her I have arthritis in my knee, but the tests don't show it. I tell her I am high-risk for breast cancer since it runs in my family, but I'm not 40 yet so we don't test for it (I guess the insurance won't pay for it). I hope that yesterday's visit and the lab work don't end up being a waste of time and money. I hope that we can find out what is causing my pain. I worry that it won't.

And this whole line of thinking seems so typical of someone who has been not believed as a child, doesn't it? Isn't it sad that the scars of childhood linger to this day, even as I try to block them out. A "healthy" person would have more faith, more self-confidence, more conviction than I have. Instead I worry about not being believed. I think this is the curse of being an adult child of an alcoholic.

On another note, I saw a website by chance today, for literary agents. The site said not to send unsolicited manuscripts, and that querys should include 3 chapters...etc etc... and credentials. What credentials do I have as a writer? None. That's what. I have none, and I'm not ready for an agent yet anyway, but I wonder if I ever do get the novel done will I be able to get it published?  I have a song written somewhere, stored away, and I wonder if I will ever live to see the day when that gets recorded too. I know it may never be a "hit", although I think that it could be if it found the right recording artist, but I hope it doesn't lay lifeless in a box buried in my closet forever too.

It's no laughing matter ladies... Monthly brea...Image by zpeckler via Flickr

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To Twitter or not to Twitter? I do have an account that I use mostly for following others, but I have not really made use of it for posting anything myself. Should I? If you have a Twitter account, do you post your real name on your profile or do you use something else?

Anyone want to weigh in on this? I know some bloggers do use it. Others use Facebook. I'm pretty sure that I don't want to start using my Facebook accounts for Al-Anon related stuff. I use them for work and personal stuff. My Twitter account is open though. I haven't used it much, so I could use it for pretty much anything. Is there other social media that people in the Al-Anon blogging world use? Is it helpful? Is it fun?
Twitter logo initialImage via Wikipedia
Free twitter badgeImage via Wikipedia

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