Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slithering back out of the abyss...

I have been away basically all week due to things being busy at work and not having Internet access at home anymore. So now I am going to try to get back on the horse...

Yesterday I turned 40. It was an okay day. By the evening I had become really depressed and emotion and basically thought all I wanted to do was go to bed. So I went to bed, but could not sleep. I ended up watching like 3 episodes of "Criminal Minds" while the girls piled into bed with me and fell asleep within minutes. I was feeling kind of abandoned and miffed because my husband didn't really seem to give a damn that it was my birthday. He ended up having to work, and I ended up in a training all day, so we saw each other for all of an hour before I went to a training at 8:45am. He had made the comment that he was going to get me a card, and leave it on my pillow. Well, stupid me, I forgot my Al-Anon lessons and allowed myself to have an expectation, and of course, there was no card. I knew not to expect a gift, as he said he couldn't afford a gift. A card is no big deal. My mother and my best friend and my best friend's parents sent me cards for my birthday, so I didn't need another card. It's just the tiny effort that doesn't ever really get expended in my direction. Yet this morning, I get him a latte and a pack of (cheap!) cigarettes, and don't even think about it. Until later, writing this. And then, I think, wow, I got him more on for a Saturday morning ride to work than he bothered to worry about for my 40th birthday. Stinkin' thinkin.' Not healthy. And yet. How do I demand more respect and dignity for myself? Do I even bother? I am thinking not. My daughters didn't even try to draw me a card. My sister's kids did. Of course, my daughters also blew off Mother's Day as well. And come to think of it, I was so immersed in trying to work my program, I didn't expect, and wasn't disappointed, when my husband blew off Mother's Day as well. More stink' thinkin'. And Mother's Day was INVENTED by a freakin' card company as a purely commercial enterprise.

Oh well, on to bigger and better topics:
I have decided to - and registered this morning - to participate in NaNoWriMo. It's basically a countdown for the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. I joined my regions this morning, and basically signed up. I look forward to taking the time to do it.

I am also considering writing a FAST grant (because it is due November 10!!!!) for a two year program to establish and expand disability-related employment program in my area. I learned about it at a training this week (where I was Thursday and Friday), and I am kind of excited about it.

Being a person with "a" disability (mental illness in the form of depression and anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, and once diagnosed with [adult] ADHD), I feel very strongly that people with disabilities can work and be valued and valuable employees. Hell, *I* am one of the hardest working people I know. So I am convinced that everyone can make a difference in some sort of work. Working with assets and talents rather than looking at restrictions and limitations. What can I do instead of what I can't do.

And depression.... well, I am tired of talking about it. I know I promised I would do a series of posts on it, but.... sue me. I can't face it right now. I really want life to be looking up instead of down. And I still have too many demons of my own that can still rear their ugly heads. My goal is to one day live without this illness. However, I am not sure if that is going to happen. I would love to be able to do as well off medication as I am doing on. But I cannot foretell the future.

The present moment is enough. It has to be.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Depression Sucks.

No, I am not depressed. I am just sensing several people around me who are fighting this disease, so I want to talk about it today.

Depression is an equal opportunity affliction. It does not choose you because there is something wrong or something extraordinary about you. It can happen even when situations are not impossible. And it is not something we choose.

Yes, some of the greatest minds have fought depression. And some of the most ordinary, normal people in the world have too.

It can make you question who you are, take your will to act in the world away from you, and incapacitate you to such a degree than earning a living or loving your family becomes an impossibility.

Today, I do not feel depression. And today, I am grateful.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Momentarily lapse of time

I am on my way to an Al-Anon meeting. However, I am thinking that this week I will feature a series of posts on depression. I got overwhelming personal response when I did the blogathon entries, and lots of people I know are dealing with new and varies nuances of the whole depression thing, so I am feeling it is time to stab the steely beast.... again....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo

What is it?
Well a couple of my friends who are way more accomplished than I am in the writing field told me about this phenomenon. It is November, National Novel Writing Month. Basically, by plying one’s trade - i.e., writing - a certain number of words - i.e., 5000 - per day, at the end of a month one will have a body of work resembling a novel. 
I say resembling, because, as I have found lately, my proclivities as of late do not fall in the creative, fiction category. I am more of a non-fiction gal by trade, as I write daily clinical and documented notes about the people whose lives are mine to monitor and serve. And then I blog. Well, when I blog, most of that is all nonfictional navel-gazing as well.
So finally, am I game? Sure. I will take on this NaNoWriMo monster and allow it to ravage and digest me, spitting out nonfictional entrails in its wake.
No, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Words here: 167
Time Written: 7:15-7:25am

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cut and paste my thoughts from last night....

Notes from an Al-Anon meeting on Boundaries:

10.19.09

Monday night I went to my home meeting and the topic was on boundaries. It was a great meeting, and we all had a couple of “Aha” moments, brought to us by each other. I love this program for exactly this reason.

We all discussed how we are no longer accepting unacceptable behavior. I think I have made the greatest progress in the area of no longer accepting unacceptable behavior *from myself.* This is huge for me. I also am pleased to report that I no longer engage in fruitless battles with St Timothy. I don’t accept the unacceptable from him; I try to turn my head and my efforts to other endeavors. I can only change myself.

From my notes in my journal jotted during the meeting:

*By setting boundaries, I am merely asking to be treated as I was created: with dignity and respect.

*Just because I love myself does not mean I don’t love the people with whom I am setting boundaries.

This means my husband and my children and my family.

This also means the people that I work with as well. Setting boundaries helps everyone act with dignity and respect, and it models good behavior for successful interactions. It is a gift we can give others. Because it means we will all be more respected and treated with more dignity.

Having written this, I feel like it is almost common sense and too elementary for words. Yet in my daily observations and interactions I see that people neglect to observe this common, basic sense every day. 

Here’s hoping that I wake up sooner rather than later. That we all do.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Writing prompt:

You are driving and see a dark, shadowy figure hunched over the side of the road

The rain sluices as you roll down the window, and you peer through the darkness, trying to discern the features of the entity, bedraggled and forlorn in the deluge.

************************************************************************

The idea behind the writing prompts is that I am following on twitter something called Daily Prompt. It is supposed to help with daily writing exercises, and I want to be a writer someday....
However, this prompt above, which should thrill me to no end, leaves me cold. I'm just not feeling it today. Sorry.

Al-Anon musings

Been going back to meetings. Since Wednesday I have attended a meeting every day, did a Saturday morning meeting today, and planning on a meeting tomorrow night in Lexington, and taking my daughter along for Alateen.

Today the meeting topic was serenity. I ended up leading the meeting, and I am grateful for enough serenity to lead a meeting.

This week we have talked about forgiveness. This is very important for me to learn about. After pondering it a while, I have discovered that I am not very forgiving to myself or to my husband who is my alcoholic. Because of the hell he has put me through in the past, I walk around looking behind every corner and into every shadow anticipating drunken cruelty, rages, and disappointments.

Reading after reading has told me to lower my expectation for other people, or to have none at all... what if I did this for myself - and lowered my expectations of the negative things as well?

What if I don't expect him to drink or to be sober, but have NO expectations for him? What if I have the expectation for myself that MY SERENITY takes the highest priority, no matter what silly shit someone else is doing?

We also talked about abundance at another meeting this week. One of the best heard things in that meeting to me was to BE GRATEFUL - GREATLY FULL - for even the smallest of things, comforts or gifts in our lives. This is a good thing for me to ponder on too.

From my Al-Anon journal:
SLIP = Serenity Losing Its Priority
Letting other people suffer their natural consequences of their actions allows them full personhood, dignity, and shows that I am not putting myself above that person.

I also had to think about the idea that it is HIGH time I let go and released my Fifth Step to my sponsor. She has her hands full, and I am not sure at this point she is ready to hear it, so I am also thinking that maybe I should find another sponsor. Any input on this would be appreciated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Writing Prompt:

Your camera has images on it you haven't taken.
and my brain reels from thoughts never said,
wonderments I haven't wondered,
and my shelves books I haven't read.

Yet I continue to look
to wonder aloud and quiet
to read when i should drop the book
and to prudently avoid the riot.

So my final conundrum plays out,
and I stop, tempted to regret,
I wonder just what I am about
and just who will pay my karmic debt.

Dorothy Parker, a poet I am not,
And epics, I have never written.
While once I had a great thought,
Now by age I am bitten.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More relaxation in motion...

video

A little levity... sent to me by St. Timothy of the Unbearable Cuteness

Sunday's Faith

Yesterday I went to another Al-Anon meeting at my old stomping grounds here in Frankfort. It was a great meeting about living in the moment. A share that was near and dear to my heart came from a newcomer, who stated that she can substitute "time" for the word "alcohol" in Step One. Another brought up the fact that we can use the Serenity Prayer as well for dealing with this time problem or urgency addiction. What can we change? What can we not change? Let's put our time where we can make changes, otherwise we are wasting time worrying about things not within our power to change. Good lessons for me, who has been crazy lately working too much and accomplishing too little.

Yesterday I took the day off. First one in over two months. And I went to my 11am meeting, then to lunch and to run errands with a friend. It was fabulous! We had a great time, and had a great lunch. I had shrimp scampi and fried clams - MY TWO FAVORITE seafood dishes!!!

I then went home to spend some time with the kids. We watched television together and played with plastic monkeys. Tara is now a doctor who can cure the swine flu in plastic monkeys. The world can rest easier now! We all ended up crashing in my bed. Poor St Timothy was truly martyred as his relief staff did not show up last night and he ended up working a 32 hour shift. I go pick him up in a little over an hour from now. He took it like a trooper. Working this job has been extremely good for him, in my opinion. It has allowed him to exhibit wonderful qualities I did not know he had. I mean, this time last year he was going on a 5 day drunk and losing a $20+/hour job. Now he is working 32 hours straight at an $8/hr job, because people are counting on him to do so. He is a wonderful caregiver to these people, and he really cares about them as people. If I could bottle that and sell it, every human service agency in the world would be lining up on our doorstep. His actions towards people here, especially considering these are people that have disabilities and are sometimes challenging to work with, demonstrate the law of attraction and the laws of karma in action: Do small things with great love, just like Mother Teresa said. He definitely is. And I am very touched by this. It is another demonstration of how time is spent in the service of others that I can observe and learn from.

Other than that, we are doing well. St Timothy will be taking tomorrow off at my direction, and I will be working at the office to get the last of the paperwork details straightened out.

I also have been enjoying Hay House Radio this weekend. Check them out at Hay House Radio.

Another fabulously awesome thing I noticed this weekend:
The leaves are starting to change in the most beautiful way here. I am going to be taking some photos this week and showing the world how beautiful my little part of Kentucky is.

Namaste, my loves.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another chilly fall morning...

I am in love with October. It is by far my favorite month. I adore the changing leaves, the chill in the air, the bright blue skies (which I sure we only have in Kentucky) and wind with just a hint of winter in it.
I love this point in the cycle of the year, where nature is having her last hurrah before settling into winter's hibernation. I love the golden reds and the taste of a Jonagold apple picked at just the right time; it embodies even the crisp taste of autumn.
I love waking up and letting my dog out in the morning and the cool rush of air in my face as I open the door. It's comical to watch him have to hesitate with his nose in the air to check out the new, evolving smells of the season.

Last night I was kidnapped from work and coerced back to an Al-Anon meeting by a friend. She stated unequivocally that she needs this in her life, and that she needs to get back to meetings. Of course, part of that is the royal we... I need it too. Especially since my significant other, St Timothy of the Dog's Love for Dirty Socks, is not active in the recovery process anymore. It used to be something we did together. But as he told me, and he was right (it happens occasionally, don't panic), it has to be something I do for myself. And as my sponsor said, they have missed me and my recovery does not depend on the recovery of anyone else.

Well, today's reading was about the phenomenon of coming back to center: When I improve my conscious contact with Source, I find that emotional balance and inner peace can be a part of my daily life.

This is a great promise. It's part of the the Promises that are read at every AA meeting. And I am happy to report, I am now seeing glimpses of its fulfillment.

Today take the time to do something you love, even if only for a moment. And then reflect, how does this connect me to the Source of who am I and what I can be?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Knitting Christmas items...

I was just reminded on an email listserv I am on that it is time to work on Christmas gifts. I have decided to do a hat and mitten combo for my nephew, so this was a good reminder.

Today it is cool enough to wear sweaters here. The sun is bright and the sky is blue, but it is not warm - my FAVORITE kind of day (once it hits 32 degrees F I am less enamored of the weather) and it has me thinking about building a fire in my fireplace and knitting! Ah, I can't wait!!!!

Until then, I have to go to work, do more paperwork, and file more paperwork.
Thank goodness I like my job, and my office, and my coworkers.
Have a good day!

Thoughts on Worthiness from Abraham-Hicks

Monday, October 5, 2009

Manic Monday

Last night I was dealing with some anxiety or slight mania, I think, and then I became anxious because I couldn't figure out what I was experiencing - anxiety or mania - so the long and short of it is that I was unable to sleep and ended up crashing out on the couch at 3am, and was grouchy all day because of it.

Another lesson for me: Sleep is becoming a non-negotiable. And I need to make time for it.
And no more skipping my vitamins or any other medications.

I'm off the soapbox now.

I am watching Tim play with Tara and it is doing my heart alot of good. Even when we are barely communicating, I still love to watch him spend time with Tara. He is a good father.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Looking for love from someone else is like looking for bread at the hardware store.

This is by far one of my favorite Al-Anon quotes. The exact quote escapes me; let me go look it up.

The reading is from Courage to Change, and it's the beginning of the January 2nd reading:

"Turning to an alcoholic for affection and support can be like going to a hardware store for bread."


Lately I am working on being more positive. And overall, I feel it's working. Tonight I had a momentary slip up where I started feeling lonely and sorry for myself because I am married to someone who, to quote a book title, seems like "he's just not that into me." Tonight I realized he is putting alot of energy in reconnecting with friends from the past, and less and less energy in communicating with me. I let myself feel hurt, rejected, and yeah, even jealous for a bit. Then I realized THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:

I - and the Universe - AM that into me!
He is not my only source of love, respect or friendship.
Perhaps he should be a source, but after almost 6 years, I know that this is hit or miss.
To pull an idea from Abraham-Hicks, I miss the vibrational place/space/energy of when we were on the same wavelength. And he maintains that we are still there. Yet I am no longer worrying about it.

No one but me can be all the things I need from this life. And I do have sources of friendship and companionship at Al-Anon meetings, at work, and with my dear friends who do care about me.

Am I still lonely? A little.
Am I still sad? Nope.

There is more out there for me. I just have to open my eyes and be grateful for the now.
Everything is fine. I am right where I am supposed to be.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A stolen afternoon away from work!





Today was a fabulous day!
This afternoon I escaped from work for a few hours and with a friend of mine went to a Gem and Mineral Show in Lexington. She got me a very awesome and beautiful clear quartz crystal, and I love it!!!!! I am including a picture here.
Then we went around and investigated a few of the parks in the Frankfort area. Our favorite by far was Cove Springs Park. And we took some great pictures! Check them out. I am going to try to squeeze in a trip back tomorrow, and take my digital camera. These pictures were all taken with my little work cell phone's camera.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A rainy Friday in October

Ah, Fridays. I love them. Almost as much as Saturdays. It is a dream come true, every week.

Today I woke up early and stretched out in bed and thought about all the things I have to do today. It's a long list, but nowhere near impossible. I came to to conclusion this morning that much of my stress comes not from my inability to delegate tasks to my employees, but my unwillingness to let go the result. I give them the task, but then I constantly worry that they are completing it to the best of their abilities and in a timely manner. So today, I resolve to let go of what is not in my basket. I DID listen at Al-Anon when it was said, Today I give thanks that the world can revolve without any help from me.

I am planning a weekend of getting some more work done, but also of taking time to relax and enjoy myself. This weekend I am going to a free rock and mineral show with a friend; she and I are both big crystal buffs. I also have so many good things to read; this weekend I am going to take time to read them. I also am going to take time to clear the physical clutter around me, so I can feel cleared emotionally and physically as well. And of course, I am going to make time to write.

This is definitely my favorite time of year. I get a little worn and almost manic in September, and October is always the take a deep breath and center myself kind of month. At the end of this month I turn FORTY. And while I am consciously *not* putting any real stock in a number, I have noticed some physical decline of my earthly envelope, this body. So I am also very grateful to have discovered Nopalea for my fibromyalgia. It has made a big difference - NO MORE CANE. I also am taking some Glucosamine for my knee, and that seems to be helping too. My knee is not clicking much at all! Also, the Nopalea seems to be helping my moods, I am no longer desolate, and I feel like Al-Anon has cognitively given me hope and woken me up so I could hear and *get* the message of positivity and abundance. This is a huge deal for me, an eternal cynic and smart ass.

And I am learning to be grateful for the "small things," for with small things, we make up the world. And with our thoughts too.... my apologies to Buddha for mangling his quote. For example, this morning my tea came out perfect. I am sipping it and listening to rain outside. I am sitting on the couch which just happens to have a recliner on either end, and it was *given* to me by someone who bought themselves new living room furniture. I am going to be teaching CPR today, and I love to teach and do training. I have also moved around, organized and cleaned my office, putting lighting and candles in there so it is a very pleasant place to be and work.

I am very grateful for my good, loving and interesting friends. They have so many different talents and personalities, they make life so interesting. And I am learning alot from them... I also have some great writers as friends, and watching their love of their craft and their creative processes really inspires me.

Like I said on Twitter a few days ago:
I am rich beyond measure.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Love October!

This is my favorite time of year. I love the change of the seasons, and the weather growing cooler, and the changing colors of the leaves. I love pulling my sweaters out and starting to wear them. And I love seeing my breath in the air in the mornings. And how my morning tea warms my hands as I sit outside and smell the tang of winter on the wind.