Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving... gratitudes and all...

I am back after life forced a writing hiatus. I ended up dropping out of NaNoWriMo, and basically felt like I had let myself down once again.

It's not that I have nothing to say; it's just that I am more interested at present in what others have to say. I am interested in what is out there, and more confident about what is in here. Maybe that is why I don't have to explore it in a navel-gazing way for the moment.

Yesterday I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into depression as I pondered the logistics of being homeless. I have decisions to make; my older daughter is in school and doing well, but I will not be able to commute the 50 miles each day to transport her to and from school. I don't even know if schools will let homeless kids enroll. How do they know what district a student is in if the student is homeless? How am I going to take care of my dog? What is this going to do to the joie de vivre that my 4 year old shows? All weighty questions on my soul.

Today I am grateful that I have more than today to get answers to these questions. I am also grateful that my rent is paid for the month, and we were given Thanksgiving food from a family member, so we will eat this week. I am grateful I have lots of good things to read to take my mind off things. I am grateful that I have a job, and that my husband continues to work for this company too, so we have some income. I am thankful that he has more sober (well, dry) days than he has since I have met him. And that we have beautiful and sweet and intelligent children that still love us. I am grateful that my body hurts less today. And that I am working on more referrals for work. I am grateful Chloe is doing so well in school. And that I am enjoying a new church home with my children at the Unitarian Universalist Church. I am grateful for the folks out there in cyberland who read this blog, and allow me to benefit from their wisdom and goodness in their blogs. I am grateful for my program. And I am grateful for Step Six.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last post marked 250 posts on this blog - Happy Birthday, Blog.

This has been one of those days.

We have been promised that things are going to get better. Yet I am watching my fellow human beings slide further into depression, debt, and despair.

When do we stop calling this a recession and start calling it a depression?

And when do we decide that legal tender, AKA money, is not the thing we need to be trading or depending upon?

When will we realize that we need to depend on ourselves, and our compassion, and our willingness to be the change we want to see in the world?

Just some thoughts....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading, Writing and Making Decisions

This week I have gotten alot of reading done. First, I finished the Laurie Cabot book I had been taking forever to read. Then I finished a light read of Ghost Hunters, a book based on the show from SciFi network - ah, a distant memory now, but I used to enjoy it. And now I am reading Phyllis Curott's Book of Shadows, which is very interesting and inspiring.

I also finished the Step work/journaling assignment that my sponsor assigned me after I did Step 5 with her. I learned alot, and want to make that the subject of another blog entry, maybe tomorrow or later this afternoon.

I also got brave and confronted my finances. They were even worse than I thought. In the past 3 months I have given up alot of "luxury" items, like my cell phone, Internet access, and coffee. This was a small step in the right direction, but it was too little, too late. I am now confronting that we are going to lose the house we were trying to buy on land contract. My projected date for getting out of this house is the end of next month. I want to be wrapping it up and putting our stuff in storage by Christmas. I don't want the kids to be homeless at Christmas, so I am dragging it out until then. It was also give me more time to get my things either given away or put in storage so we don't lose so much, and won't have to start from scratch when we do find a place.

I need to be very clear here when I say that I do not put this here to ask for help, or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I think this is the best thing I can do at this time. It will give me a chance to save some money, pay some bills, and basically get this stuff that has been hanging over my head taken care of. Three months ago my mother bought a car and I have been making the payments on it so I would have reliable transportation to work. The payment is 4 days late, so she stated yesterday that she is taking the car away. Maybe without the cost of outrageously high house rent and $500/month utilities, I will be able to keep the car so I can continue working.

Now would be a great time to report that I have been doing so well with NaNoWriMo, but alas, I haven't worked on it at all. Didn't even make the first day's required words. So much for me making my fortune writing the next great American novel. I guess those types of pursuits are for people with more talent and support than I have. Oh well. Such is life.

So look to this blog now as a commentary of more sociopolitical intent as I try to figure out housing in America. It should be a grand adventure.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A week of getting it together

I didn't get much of a chance to do any blogging this week due to work, and basically just spending my spare time reading and cooking and trying to think about some decisions I am going to have to make soon. More on them later.

I've averaging about 3 to 4 meetings a week right now. I completed my 5th Step with my sponsor, and she gave me an additional writing assignment in preparation to the 6th Step. I've been working on this for the past couple of weeks.

I'll write more tomorrow. I'm working on getting some NaNoWriMo work done, and thinking about my novel right now, so I'm not in a blogging space in my mind.

More to come...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sanity 101, a new series

I wrote this last night after a meeting. I don't have Internet access at home anymore, so I am delayed posting this on the blog.

Musings after a good meeting

Tonight’s meeting was on character defects. I volunteered to lead, and I chose the topic because of finishing my 5th Step last night. I just love the feeling of peace and simply being comfortable in my own skin when I leave a really great meeting. Serenity rocks.

My character defects are pretty simple. But they run deep. I think that is the truth for most people, at least I think so...

My first character defect is resentment. No big surprise there.

My second is self-pity.

My third is fear.

My fourth is lack of love.

I have progressed in the program insofar as my resentments are MUCH less than before I began this program. I have learned to let go of alot of things, and not waste as much of my psychic energy on others’ opinions of me or mine. However, there is still some stuff that I let get to me, and those things usually are the two addicts in my life. When I say addict, I mean alcoholic in one case, and drug/sex addict in the other. There is a real knee jerk reaction I have to these two addicts who I feel are somehow not living up to their responsibilities as adults or parents or employees. I resent them for it.
Because of my own overdeveloped sense of responsibility (thanks to Judy for bringing this concept into my world)!
Is it the addict’s fault that I have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility? Nope.
Is it my fault - or more importantly, *is it my problem* - that the addict has no sense of responsibility? Nope.
How awesome is that?

When I contrast how I resent this perceived disparity, I start to pity myself. Poor little me, working my ass off while the addicts don’t. When really, there is no reason for there to be any comparison. I do what I do because it is who I am. They do their thing for the same reason. Apples and oranges. And I am happy to be who I am. I am blessed to not be addicted to a substance. I need to be grateful instead to pity myself. Kind of backwards, huh?

As for fear, well, my sponsor directed me towards a reading in Hope for Today (page 228/August 15th for those of you keeping score) that talks about using the Serenity Prayer to determine what is worth fearing. In a word, accept what I cannot change, and change what I can. This reading also talks about not leaving the present and projecting fear about the future (unknown), and suggests that focusing on what my body is doing at the present moment. By taking my attention down to a physical, or even cellular level I distract it from projecting any bizarre scenarios about the future. I love this reminder to do this.

Finally, because I am resentful, pity myself, and fearful, I experience a lack of love. By lack of love, I mean I start by not loving myself. And this inhibits my ability love anyone else.

Because I have confronted and faced all this garbage about myself, I feel lighter. I feel more accepting of myself. And because I accept myself more, I like - maybe even love someday myself more. And that opens up a whole other way for me to love others. The right way. By allowing them to live without my interruption or attempts at control. Or, as we say in my profession, I allow them the dignity of risk. 

My sponsor wanted me to write some more on my resentments, and I will do so, but in a more private way than on this blog. And also to write some on practical ways I can address my character defects and weakness. These may be the subject of another blog in the near future. 

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Step at a Time

Last night I finished my 5th Step with my sponsor. She has given me some more writing to do on 2 of my resentments and my character defects, so I will be working on these in the next two weeks and sharing it with her. It is wonderful to finally have gone through that step though.

I also am glad to have gotten through some consulting work I was doing so I can get back into NaNoWriMo, and I am hoping that I can get some more accomplished in that area, and maybe even CATCH UP? That would be fabulous.

I am literally exhausted, however, so there won't be much on this topic today. Maybe tomorrow. I am holding out on going home because there is a meeting here in Frankfort in another 2 1/2 hours, and I would like to make it. I didn't get to go to a meeting yesterday, so I feel overdue.

Thanks for your patience....

An interesting idea

This morning my dog and I are in my car in downtown Versailles. Parked close enough to the library I can usurp their wireless for a moment. The church bells are ringing and I am watching people go about their day. It's very neat, and a good place to write! Plus my dog is happy - he loves the car, which is why he is a Kruzer.

P.S. Did my 5th Step with my sponsor last night. More on that later.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Okay, so I don't have internet access at home, and I failed to figure out how many words one needs for the first day. I made a nice attempt and got all of 750, which made me feel good, as I really like how my opening sounds. This is so unusual for me, so that part is great.

HOWEVER, the amount of words was 1,670... so I wasn't even halfway there. And of course, I have to do up to 3,340 today and 5,000 by tomorrow.... it is not for the faint of heart. And I keep feeling that once I make it through tomorrow I will be better able to devote more energy towards this.....

TOMORROW is the day I have set up to share my Fifth Step with my sponsor. I was scheduled to do this on June 7th, but my grandmother fell on June 4th, had surgery the 5th, and died the 8th. Plus my sponsor's daughter graduated from high school that weekend too... so it was not meant to be.

I took a few months to isolate, heal, lick my wounds, and decide how to best live through this. And I found that I already had alot of wisdom and life's instruction manual in Al-Anon. So I am back, immersing myself in about 5 meetings a week. And doing much better, overall...

This is not to say that I don't have moments of "oh shit" or despair, or whatever. And I have been flirting with depression a bit the past two weeks. But overall, I am hanging on. And I am looking towards small things I can do to take care of myself.

Which brings me back to NaNoWriMo. I am doing this, kind of like when I did the blogathon, as part of my self-care. The process of writing for me is a difficult yet identifying act. This energy I put towards writing is energy of self expression and what I need to do to heal. And survive.