Monday, January 29, 2007

A Place Of Relationship

Entering Community

Jean Vanier

"When people enter community, especially from a place of loneliness in a big city or from a place of aggression and rejection, they find the warmth and the love exhilarating. This permits them to start lifting their masks and barriers and to become vulnerable. They may enter into a time of communion and great joy.

But then too, as they lift their masks and become vulnerable, they discover that community can be a terrible place, because it is a place of relationship; it is the revelation of our wounded emotions and of how painful it can be to live with others, especially with some people. It is so much easier to live with books and objects, television, or dogs and cats! It is so much easier to live alone and just do things for others, when one feels like it."

Source: Community and Growth


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Walk In The Light

It's dark in here except for the light of the computer screen. That makes me think of my high school typing teacher and her endless advice of 'sit up straight', 'lift up your wrists' , and 'stop looking at the keyboard'. Thanks to her nagging I can type in the dark. She was a chain smoker who liked to get us going on an assignment and then she'd spend the rest of the class in the teacher's lounge, smoking. You never knew when she would come back in, the first words out of her mouth a piece of advice on how to improve your typing skills.

I suppose the only other creatures happy to be in the dark right now are the mice. They have successfully evaded the friggin trap for 3 nights in a row. Peanut butter didn't work, cheese didn't work. They even went so far as to leave their trademark all around the trap before they cheerfully went and investigated the rest of the kitchen. Dearest one told me tonight of a time his dad sat in a chair in the house and shot a mouse right under the dining room table. I can understand what frustration led him to do that, I really can. Cleaning mouse poop out of the crumb tray on the toaster gives me the creeps. How they get in there is a mystery to me.

Dearest one is sleeping, coming home so tired after another 12 hour shift at the hospital. The commute adds two extra hours to his day, so by the time he gets home he is ready for sleep. I am thankful for the good humoured people he works with, who make his day easier to get through. If you have a nurse in your life who is taking care of a loved one, a word of thanks would go a long way to brighten their day.

I went to see my friend yesterday only to find out she'd been transferred to a city hospital four hours away. That is not good news. It means she is unstable enough to need more specialized care. When she was admitted here her fever was 104F. When you already have a compromised immune system, infection can kill you.

Although dearest one works 2 floors above the one my friend had been on, it never crossed my mind to take the elevator up there and say hi to him. (No need to wonder where you get the 'it never occurred to me' syndrome, only daughter!) I was so focused on seeing my friend that I forgot he was working. He teased me that my hair wasn't even blond. I laughed. I always wanted blond hair.

This post over at Swept Overhas been hounding me, it's closing lines sticking in my mind: "(1) Silence is almost always wiser than speaking. (2) The only apologetic is love." Today's Mass readings included the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) and it sunk in a bit further that love is more important than many other things I get hung up on. Almost anything else is easier to do than truly love on someone.
Including typing in the dark.

Hopeful Laughter

I don't know many women in AA. I'm the only woman who regularly attends my home group so yesterday it was a treat to have the women and men equally represented (6 of each!) There was such honest, beautiful sharing that I came away full of gratitude to be counted as one among them. I learn more about myself and my journey in an AA meeting than I ever do from a sermon. As I walked to my van afterwards I wished that my experience of church over the years mirrored what went on in that room. To hear people laugh with you as you admit your screw ups makes it so much easier to admit them. And they laugh because they know all too well that whatever you admit is part of their story too. No one pretends to be distanced from their humanity. It gives me hope that I can carry that honesty into all of my life. Hope that I can learn to simply be me, without apology, even when I'm in the midst of people who might judge me for it. When I meet people in AA who have learned to do that it gives me hope for myself. Every meeting I seem to learn a bit more about what is mine to carry and what isn't. I'm continually humbled and amazed at what isn't mine to carry. No wonder putting one foot in front of the other has seemed so difficult for me at times. I've been trying to carry my whole world on my back.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Of Trysts, Traps and Spoons

If I get any more spoonless today I won't be able to walk to the bathroom. Seeing how it's been 17 years since I last changed a diaper, today is not going to be the start of changing my own. Which is a roundabout way of saying it's a couch day today. Gotta save those spoons for the trek to the bathroom. I feel like a limp rag doll.

Yesterday was a full day in town. We ended up skipping our evening plans and coming straight home after buying groceries. I was in bed by 9 pm. I was hoping that sometime during the night the rodent who has taken over my kitchen would make its way into the live catch mouse trap I bought yesterday. With an empty trap this morning, I look at my counters and wonder what the heck could be more enticing than the smell of peanut butter? Ah, yes, the little bugger opted for the bleach scrubbed counter tops instead. Must be on a diet, poor thing. Argh!

I had a check up with the doctor yesterday and was oh, so proud of telling him I'd managed to walk a mile per day for three days in a row this week. Considering that three years ago I could only manage 75 seconds on the treadmill before my heart rate was over the top, walking a mile is a big, big deal. In retrospect maybe trying for a mile three days a week instead of three days in a row might be a better option. Trying to sort out the ebb and flow of my spoonsupply and mulling over whether 3 days in a row followed by a full day in town is worth a spoonless day today is an ongoing battle. Walking a mile does feel like a huge gift.

A very dear friend of mine is in the hospital. She's been there more than not since last Spring. It's been almost three years since she had a double lung transplant. She has been there for me every step of the way as I went from doctor to doctor trying to get answers to my health issues. I found her through the internet even though we lived about 10 miles apart back then. It turned out that she had the same cardiologist as me - the one who told me I was simply hormonal. She had doctors telling her to go home and get a life, insinuating that she was a hypochondriac. That took a toll on her and it's something we understand about one another - how that attitude on the part of doctors can make a person mistrust their instincts ever after. Both of us instinctively knew something wasn't right in our bodies while doctors dismissed us. In the end we both were blessed by the same doctor who listened and made things happen. By that time she was just about ready for the lung transplant. Her name is Karen if you would be so kind as to lift her up in prayer. I'm going to visit her tomorrow. She's so tired of fighting the fight to live. I can hear it in her voice. It scares me because she is such a fighter. She has a giggle that is contagious. And above all else she is full of gratitude for the journey. She knows every day is a gift.

Well, it's almost time for my regular dose of Family Feud. The funniest answer I've heard lately on that show was when asked to name a road sign that described their love life one man answered, slippery when wet. His wife turned brick red.
I'm still chuckling over that one.
Let's hope the mice don't have a tryst of their own before they give in to their cravings and enjoy the peanut butter in the trap.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Your Heart Is Greater

75 years ago today one of my favourite authors, Henri Nouwen, was born. This past week I read a book by Michael Ford called Wounded Prophet which takes an intimate look at Nouwen's life. Different pieces from his books are quoted throughout Ford's book. Below is one from The Inner Voice Of Love that spoke to me.
"You have been wounded in many ways. The more you open yourself to being healed, the more you will discover how deep your wounds are...The great challenge is living your wounds through instead of thinking them through. It is better to cry than to worry, better to feel your wounds deeply than to understand them, better to let them enter into your silence than to talk about them. The choice you face constantly is whether you are taking your wounds to your head or your heart. In your head you can analyze them, find their causes and consequences, and coin words to speak and write about them. But no final healing is likely to come from that source. You need to let your wounds go down to your heart. Then you can live through them and discover that they will not destroy you. Your heart is greater than your wounds."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Industrious Bits Of Wisdom

If the calendar didn't say January I'd be betting Spring was right around the corner. They are forecasting above freezing temperatures all week. How weird is that? January is often our minus 40C month. Seeing how we've had snow on the ground since October maybe we're getting a taste of Spring so we can hang in there for the long haul. Whatever the case, I'm enjoying it. In fact later on today I'm going to build myself a snow man and a snow angel. I used up the last of the carrots in the stew that's cooking in the crock pot but I'm sure I can think up some kind of snowman nose that will do.

Before I get to do that though I have to finish up the cleaning I started this morning. Those darn mice have had a heyday in my pantry and in the midst of my cleaning up after the little buggers I found outdated soup cans and bags of rice with little holes chewed in them. So owing to the industrious nature of mice I'm finding a little of my own. This is the cleanest my pantry's been in several years. I'd say thank you to the mice but that would be taking things a little far, don't you think?

And why stop at the pantry? I cleaned off the front of my fridge, glanced at the top of of it and cleaned that off too. I've written before about my habit of collecting bits of paper with notes written on them. Who would have thought the top of the fridge could yield such bits of wisdom as this one:
"With some people, however, the best possible choice they are capable of making is, in fact, the worst possible choice they could make."
I don't know whose blog that comes from (these days I always write the blog on the back of the piece of paper) but it sounds like it could come from either this guy or that one.

I like that quote because it helps me forgive myself for my most regrettable decisions. When you know better, you do better. Today I can better accept that it doesn't happen any other way. I have a hunch some of my regrettable decisions were influenced by the list below which was on the front of my fridge.
"The following are some of the characteristics, agreed upon by one Al anon/Acoa group, that result in problems in our lives.

1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures;

2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process;

3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism;

4. We either become alcoholics, marry them, or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs;

5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relations;

6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. This enables us not to look too closely at our faults, etc.

7. We get guilty feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

8. We became addicted to excitement.

9. We confuse love and pity and tend to 'love' people we can 'pity' and 'rescue'.

10. We have stuffed our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much;(DENIAL)

11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem;

12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

13. Alcoholism is a family disease and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink;

14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors."

It's good to look at that list today and find some of those numbers not nearly as front and center in my life as they have been. Below is number 15 which I made up myself.

15. I found I was uncomfortable engaging in play as an adult because my play enviroment was too unpredictable as a child. I learned as a child that adults could start screaming at me, beating me or dishing out other painful consequences if I wasn't on guard to stop playing and become a mini adult before they walked in the room.

This month I have spontaneously played with bubbles, drawn with my Spirograph, had a snowball fight, and enjoyed a tractor ride. This afternoon I'm building myself a snowman and making a snow angel.
Let's see if the mice chew holes in those babies.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Of Mice and Men Part Two

Good thing dearest one doesn't have heart problems. He just opened the cupboard to retrieve a different pair of dish washing gloves only to have a mouse jump out of the pocket of an apron hanging on the cupboard door. Mystery solved. Because of my cat allergies we won't be able to invite one of our feline friends to come dine but mouse traps are on the top of the shopping list.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Of Mice and Men

Dearest one had a great pair of rubber gloves he'd been using when washing dishes lately. Because of an influx of mice leaving their trademark all over our counters, we've been washing our dishes with a bit of bleach in the wash water, making rubber gloves necessary. The mice somehow climbed on a shelf way up high and chewed along the one side of his gloves, rendering them them useless. I look at everything else in the cupboard they could've concentrated on and it's hard not to think they had this little conference and decided to go after the gloves in an attempt to thwart our housekeeping efforts. The little buggers.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Am So Much More

This afternoon while I was waiting for my assessment with the Occupational Therapist, I dug out my favourite waiting room book. There are 31 chapters to this book and I numbered them off so that whatever day of the month it is, I read the equivalent chapter. Here is part of the 17Th chapter:
"The first quality that strikes when one looks into the eyes of a child is its innocence: its lovely inability to lie or wear a mask or pretend to be anything other than what it is. In this the child is exactly like the rest of Nature. A dog is a dog; a rose, a rose; a star, a star; everything is quite simply what it is. Only the adult human being is able to be one thing and pretend to be another. When grown-ups punish a child for telling the truth, for revealing what it thinks and feels, the child learns to dissemble and so innocence is destroyed. Soon it will join the ranks of the numberless people who say helplessly, "I do not know who I am, " for, having hidden the truth about themselves for so long from others, they end up by hiding it from themselves. How much of the innocence of childhood do you still retain, is there anyone today in whose presence you can be simply and totally yourself. as nakedly open and innocent as a child?

There is another more subtle way in which the innocence of childhood is lost: when the child is infected by the desire to become somebody. Contemplate the crowds of people who are striving might and main to become, not what Nature intended them to be - musicians, cooks, mechanics, carpenters, inventors - but somebody: to become successful, famous, powerful; to become something that will bring, not quiet self fulfillment, but self-glorification, self-expansion. You are looking at people who have lost their innocence because they have chosen not to be themselves but to promote themselves, to show off, even if it be only in their own eyes. Look at you daily life. Is there a single thought, word or action untainted by the desire to become somebody, even if all you seek to become is a spiritual success or a saint unknown to anyone except yourself?"
The highlighted sentences I have underlined in my book because they continue to be food for thought as I journey.

The journey has been rocky lately, hence my silence. It takes time to process, pray and believe that beauty can unfold from the pain. While learning how to stop being one thing and pretending to be another I'm stepping on the toes of those most precious to me. Sadness has been the dominant emotion within. When people around me don't see the process as something beautiful it's easy to believe that any forward movement is simply a figment of my own imagination. Not only have I doubted I was making progress, there've been times when I've convinced myself that I'm only a bitch in hiding.

Sometimes it sucks that there is no going back. Sucks that the journey forward is uncomfortable not only for me, but also for those with whom my life is intertwined. It takes everything within me not to go around saying, "sorry, sorry" for simply learning to be me. Father Charlie has often reminded me that I'm in the process of being transformed and so too, those around me will feel the ripple effects and face their own transformation process.

To embrace my own journey I became willing this week to let go of all resentments, all the baggage I've carried with me since childhood in order to move forward. I also became willing to do that imperfectly. You know how it is sometimes? You decide a thing then wake up the next morning with the same issues plaguing you and it's easy to think you either didn't mean it or that the Spirit was busy with someone else, and that nothing really happened within you or else you'd be free from your humanity? That kind of thinking has only added to my shame level, it's never brought me any closer to real freedom. So for today I let go to the best of my ability, asking for God's grace to continue to be open to letting go.

I've spent a lifetime being quick to think of myself as bad. Someone's not happy with me, that means I must be bad. I make a less than stellar choice, I must be bad. I say the wrong thing, think the wrong thought, I must be bad. It takes so very little to label myself that way. No one is putting that on me, it's my own self talk feeding itself. During this rocky stretch of life I learned that the label no longer fits. There's a difference between being bad and being human. Something has settled within me, in that deep place, where I now know that any judgement I could make of myself will never be the full picture of who I am. I am so much more than my flaws. I have a hope that I can learn to live with myself, humanity intact, faith intact, look in the mirror and rejoice.

Today is the nine week mark of abstinence from sexual addiction for me. For all the turmoil of the past few days, I give thanks that my thoughts never even turned in that direction for relief. That was a gift of grace. I think that maybe I was actually living in the moment instead of trying to run away from it.
That, I know, is a most childlike quality.
There is hope.
God bless you as you embrace the journey.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday, Monday

We've been without a phone service since Saturday. It certainly makes for a much quieter house. No phone. No internet. We survived. I'm glad it was easy to get fixed this morning by some techinician in a building far away from here.

Dearest one did just come in the house though and told me he found it no suprise that I was on the internet. Some habits die hard.

The storm is over, the cold weather came and went. There's the beginnings of a chinook arch on the horizon. In the space of the last week then we went from blizzard conditions and 20+cm of fresh snow to -35C cold to above freezing temperatures today. What's that saying? If you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes, it'll change.

I took my chances on highway conditions Saturday morning and went to my AA meeting. The roads were icy and by the time I got over half way there I wasn't too sure I was happy with my decision. But going was worth it. A good meeting. Food for thought as always.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately and haven't been able to gather my thoughts yet. I feel an openess in my spirit that hasn't been there for a long time. I have an appointment with Fr. Charlie tomorrow and am hoping to hash some of this out with him then. Today is the only day until next Monday when I don't have commitments to attend to outside my home. Spoons, spoons, I'll be in need of some. Having a good mental outlook somehow makes my spoon supply bearable.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bubbles In The Snow

Weird title, eh? Dearest one went to work last night and because of blizzard warnings he stayed in the city today. I am simply bored and more bored. I got the great idea this afternoon to try and blow bubbles out in the snow storm. There's no picture to show you because it would've taken one person to blow bubbles and another to take the photo before the bubbles burst. I tried to do it on my own but had to settle to just enjoy the bubbles myself. It's blizzarding up a storm out there and I'm not sure dearest one will make it home tomorrow either. He just called and said the visibility was nearly zero some places right in the city. Combine that with forecasted windchills of -28C tomorrow and you have a lovely picture of winter up north. It's all iffy enough that dearest one will have to check out road conditions before he buys groceries tomorrow. No point buying them if he can't bring them home.

My appointment with Fr. Charlie was cancelled today because of the weather, too. I did talk with him on the phone for a while and shared the bulk of what's been riding around in my head since our last visit. I came away committed to moving forward even though I'm feeling a bit cranky as to how much work it continues to be. Today is all I need to cope with. I have to remind myself of that on a regular basis. Someone said something that spoke to me at the AA meeting I went to last Saturday and I heard it again in Fr. Charlie's homily on Sunday. I sat in the pew with tears rolling out the corners of my eyes and it was all I could do not to just bury my face in my hands and sob. It was one of those grace moments where I got a glimpse of Truth. And it was scary and a blessing at the same time. We bring ourselves to God as a gift, as we are. And as we are is enough. We can't be anywhere else in this moment. It's food for thought when God is okay with me but I'm not okay with me. Something opened within me this past weekend that makes the idea of being okay with me closer to an ongoing reality than before.

The first time I met with Fr. Charlie for spiritual direction he asked me if I struggled with wearing masks. "Who me? No." was my basic response. In the ensuing 17 months I've had more masks drop off my face than they sell at a costume store. I'm getting close to being willing to walk around as maskless as a healthy person can, but I'm not there yet. And to simply be okay with that is something new for me. I told Fr. Charlie today that I was willing to do whatever I had to in order to speak my truth and be who I am without apology. I told him I just didn't know how to get from here to there. He told me I was already on my way. God, I hate walking blind. That's what this journey feels like sometimes.

There's ham and eggs cooking on the stove top as I type. After I have some supper I'm going to dig out the Spirograph set that I spotted in the cupboard when I dug out the bubbles. When I was in grade three one of my classmates got a Spirograph set from the teacher in our Christmas gift draw. I was as envious as the green ink that came in the set. Several years ago I saw a set at a garage sale and just had to have it. At least with the Spirograph I know where I'm going.
In circles.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Palm Of Our Skull

"It's at night, when perhaps we should be dreaming, that the mind is most clear, that we are most able to hold all our life in the palm of our skull. I don't know if anyone has ever pointed out that great attraction of insomnia before, but it is so; the night seems to release a little more of our vast backward inheritance of instincts and feelings; as with the dawn, a little honey is allowed to ooze between the lips of the sandwich, a little of the stuff of dreams to drip into the waking mind."~Brian W. Aldiss

It's the middle of the night and I'm holding some of my life in the palm of my skull. I was trying to keep track of the little bits of mental notes I was making when I decided to get up and write them all down so I could go back to bed and get some sleep. It would be of no surprise to dearest one to wake up and find me writing. He knows me.

I finally got to an AA meeting yesterday. What a relief to be in a room of people where I don't have to explain myself. I simply get to be. Accepting where I am on the journey and telling that truth without judging myself, is probably the hardest thing I face on a daily basis. An AA meeting has become one of few places where I don't struggle to be someone else or somewhere else on my journey. What a gift.

It was a good meeting. Before I got there I really felt the need to share. When I walked in the room, the person who normally chairs the meeting asked me if I wanted to chair it. I took a few moments to think that over and decided maybe his need to share was greater than mine and accepted. I heard good, good stuff around the table. I love that I benefit from someone else sharing their experience, strength and hope. I've had more light bulb moments at a meeting than for all the times someone has been purposely trying to flick the switch on for me. I need to remember to stop trying to do that to others.

I've never had a bona fide sponsor on my recovery journey. In the beginning, the woman who introduced me to Al Anon and then AA was a rehab counselor. She gladly took me to meetings and we became friends. Since being back in the program the last 6 months, I've increasingly seen the need for a sponsor and have become willing to surrender my habit of trying to fly solo. After the meeting yesterday I approached a woman about becoming my sponsor. Every time she has shared in a meeting I have appreciated her words of wisdom. She has a beautiful, humble spirit and she tells it to you straight. I need that. It's not easy for me to trust women, especially other alcoholics. I'm not sure why. Reaching out for help is such a sign of health for me. She is willing to consider it and I will call her later today. I realized through the Christmas holidays that had I had a sponsor I would have dealt with my resentments sooner rather than later. I could have heard myself simply from sharing outloud with someone else, someone who gets it, and known I needed to take action.

I never went through rehab or 90 meetings in 90 days. When I sobered up I had a newborn, a toddler and a 4 year old. Rehab seemed too inconvenient. I can laugh at the absurdity of that thinking now. I had been sober a year and active in Al-Anon before I walked through the doors of an AA meeting. Dearest one and I have been discussing whether it would be possible for me to go through rehab now. Even though I haven't had a drink in almost 19 years I feel like I've only been working the program for these past six months.

Sometimes when someone is pissing me off I think to myself, "You're messing with my serenity." It's a gentle, humourous way to remind myself that my serenity is up to me and no one can mess with it unless I give them permission. There are people at my meetings who have serenity on a daily basis. I want that. I want it more than I want to be right. I'm willing to do what it takes to get it. God help me.

Last night while hashing out my day with dearest one he interrupted me to say, "I love you." He had this tender hearted look on his face and I replied, "You do?" I proceeded to pepper him with questions about that until he laughed and teased me that I was giving him the grand inquisition because he told me he loved me. I laughed too and decided to accept his words without having to have them clarified. I know he was seeing something in me that I couldn't see had I gone and looked in the mirror. Accepting love heals.

This past week I took a step towards better social health. I've known for some time that I need to be among people more than I am in any given week. It's so easy for me to be a hermit, to stay within my comfort zone. Several months ago I approached the head of the local historical society about volunteering my writing and research skills. I told her I couldn't commit to anything until after the New Year and this past week she called to see if I was ready to start. Despite the piles of papers I make on any flat surface in my own home, I do love to organize and file things away, which is one of the jobs this woman needs done. In the next few weeks I will also learn the practical side of museum collections and how to register and catalogue items. When time allows I will write about items already on display and at some point write a local history booklet for elementary students. Every week I will meet for a few hours with other community people and use my gifts for the benefit of the whole. It feels like step in the right direction.

This coming week I will start biofeedback training. Back in November, when I had my annual checkup, my doctor and I discussed options for dealing with my increasing pain levels. If I sit too long it becomes painful to walk. If someone touches me pretty well anywhere on my body, it hurts. My joints are getting to be an issue. Last week at a family gathering, dearest one was holding one of our great nephews when he teasingly, gently touched my shoulder joint with this little guy's foot. By the third touch I was in pain. Anywhere I scratch on my body becomes painful to the touch immediately. I don't know anything about biofeedback training but am hoping it will help me cope with the pain. I'm also on the waiting list for a local chronic pain group too, which will also teach me coping techniques. It's been several weeks since I've had enough spoons to get me through to the end of a day so I'm hoping all this will help me manage those better. Trying to balance having a life and having spoons is an ongoing challenge.

Dearest one just got up and looked at me kind of puzzled a few moments ago. Even though it's 3:30 AM, the kettle is on and we're going to have a cup of tea. Then it's time to put this waking mind back to sleep.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's A Wrap

"Is it really truth that we seek, or just a sweet enough lie to settle our minds so we can sleep at night?"~Lou

I got a crash course on how nursing resentments makes relationships dry up instead of being nourished over the holidays. It wasn't pretty or fun for anyone.

Only daughter was home for mere days before I got this unshakeable feeling that I might not be the easiest person to share a house with. Nothing I could put my finger on, just an inkling that who I thought I was and who I am might very well be two different things. There's nothing like adding more people to the daily mix of life to have multiple character defects rise to the surface for all to see. Damn.

I'm sure whoever was on the other end of the business phone call dearest one was in the middle of when I shouted at the top of my lungs to only daughter "What happened to the fucking training I gave you?" was left wondering whether the clerks at Wal Mart had forgotten to wish us "Happy Holidays".

Crying in the shower is very cleansing. It saves on kleenex, too.

They say timing is everything. I bet God made that one up. Especially when I am about to fall asleep in order to temporarily avoid dealing with aftermath of my own melt down, only to have step 10 surface in my head, "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." To which I immediately thought, "oh for fuck's sake" before I ignored it and went to sleep.

Deciding I didn't need progesterone cream to help regulate my hormones this month was possibly the worst decision I've made in regards to my health all year. Especially when those much needed hormones reached a crescendo hours before I started acting like a screaming banshee.

The one time only daughter and I actually agreed with one another in the past 10 days was when she told me that she had never had a time at home of seeing her flaws so in her face. I told her I felt the same (my own flaws in my own face courtesy of her) and then she said she hadn't enjoyed her time at home very much and I told her I hadn't enjoyed it much either.

A lifetime of codependent behaviour is not fixed overnight. There are times when I wish there was a courier company who would guarantee next day delivery on that though.

Things I do know:

I have 6845 days of sobriety. Thanks be to God.
I have 50 days of abstinence from sexual addiction.
I've wanted the relief it brings so badly lately.
Surrendering that to God in the midst of the stress was hard.
But to give in would have solved nothing.
Asking for God's grace in the midst of my bitchiness instead of thinking I had to pretty myself up first was hard, too.
But God will never use a mirror to blackmail me.

Today is never the end of the story.

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Catholic Carnival 100

the 100th edition of Catholic Carnival can be found over at Sarah's blog. Enjoy!