Friday, November 28, 2014
Four of the Twelve Step Program are about Prayer and mediation.
1. Admit life is unmanageable
2. Come to believe in a Higher power
3. Begin to build a relationship with said higher power
4. Take a good hard look at my part in unmanageable life
5. Share dirty secrets with another human being
6. Dig up character defects and assets
7. Work with higher power to manage these defects
8. Admit I have hurt some people
9. Begin making amends to some of these people
10. Take daily inventory of previous steps
11. deepen connection with higher power
12. Share experience with those that seek it
So how is it that even though I am deep in the program of recovery that I forget to meditate? That is how i connect with my higher power and for me the only effective way to not only pray but actually receive guidance. How do I 'forget' to do this? Actually, let me get honest... not forget to meditate but go out of my way to avoid it like the plague.
I truly do not understand myself some days. I come from a back ground of almost 15 years of daily mediation practice, yet when life throws me a curve ball I resort to whining, begging and pleading with a God outside myself. Why is that?
I have more then enough experience with the tremendous benefits of meditation. Through meditation, guided, breath work and silencing the mind, I have not only learned myself better by becoming aware of who I am and what it is I want out of life but I have also been able to attract to me those experiences and situations that I desire with very little effort.
That is until a curve ball hits me, then I throw a fit and shut my higher power out.
I remember writing a list of my dream job. Oh, this must've been a good ten years ago. I wrote the list and then began a rigorous mediation routine of yoga breath work for thirty minutes a day. Twenty minutes of visualization of that dream job and guided meditations to clear my bodies energy fields. Within three months I had a job that looked nothing like the job I had visualized. At first I didn't even recognize it as my dream job until during a visualization meditation one day I realized I was imagining something less then what I had!
This experience has happened too many times to deny the power of meditation in my world.
So why then am I coming off a fucking drug relapse and freaking out about my current job??
Oh ya! I stopped Yoga breath work. I stopped visualizing what I want and now I am obsessed with what I don't have. And I am filling my energy field with toxins! How do I always land back here??
This is where my addict enters, or my Outer child as is coming up the new Label for that part of me that likes to sabotage. Inner child's needs don't get met or inner child's feelings get hurt and outer child to the destructive rescue! So I am reading in my new library find to fix the way my brain works.
I did Yoga breath work today, can you tell? lol
The benefits of this type of mediation for me are instant. Already I can see clearly my current job situation as my own inability to let go of slights. My boss asked me to do something for him. When I didn't jump up and down with an excited yes, he was annoyed and fired off a slight. Was it wrong what he did? For sure it is. But the reason I love working for him is that he is a recovering addict as well and he has not only understood my emotional outburst and slights he has not at all held them against me.... ever. So why now am I doing the same too him?
Cause my feelings were hurt and I still have yet to fully understand how to work through that and let go. I am a hanger onner. Good or bad if it invokes an emotion I hang on to that, I like to sit in that shit. I am not so sure that's a good thing. My mind then begins to play this elaborate drama and before I know it I have quite my job and I am working for half the pay in a situation that is a ridiculous fit for me. This is how I always operate and why I always end up at square one.
So yesterdays rant about saying No is a good one. The backlash its had on my mind though is not a good one. I shared about this situation at my NA meeting last night and walked away still feeling like shit. I talked to my support group and still got no relief. I did three out of the four things I am learning to do when something is bothering me.... I just happened to forget the one I probably should go to first.... My higher power.
Building that relationship with my higher power and connecting with my own internal intuitive system is really the foundation of the steps. As I stated in the beginning of this post, four of the twelve steps are directly about our higher powers. The other eight steps are the steps that clear away the shit so that you can love yourself the way your higher power does....
I am glad I found my yoga breath this morning and I look forward to speaking to my boss early next week. I am grateful to have this writing avenue for my thoughts to play in. I am beyond words for the expression of love I have for my friends and I am looking forward to a meeting this weekend to share my new discovery of my crazy thought patterns.
Life is back to good..... For today. Let me remember to connect again tomorrow. Oh, Goddess, please!!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
The art of saying NO. The grace of accepting NO.
Oh man. What a loaded word that No is. I remember when my first born was a toddler and she said her first No to me. That big fat, forceful, stomp her foot, clench her little fists and firmly stated...NO! I laughed. It was beyond adorable. Then I made her do the task anyways.
What a terrible young mom I was then, I didn't even share a shred of respect for her No.
Today I am feeling the weight of that word. No.
I had to say it to my boss yesterday when he called to see if I could handle 15 driveways. (I am a landscaper, that means shovel to pavement in our northern little city... in other words, a shit tonne of snow.) He responded with a mild threat. Apparently ignoring me like I did my toddler is not effective in the adult world.
Let me give you some background..... I have been off work since September and I am due back end of December. I am bored and do want to go back to work. But.
I am on the mend from a major workaholic burn out. I have never been able to say no to my boss. I not only Love working for his company but I adore his philosophies of life and all that he has taught and gifted me in the years I have worked for him.
So to say No now was very hard for me and for him to retaliate even tougher.
I need to learn to take care of myself. Self care has been a huge lesson for me these past few years of recovery. Being my own hero, my own Princess in shining armor to rescue me. Standing up for my needs and even pushing for them to be met has been an extreme challenge for me.
I cant say No.
I never realized in the past that I was one of 'those' women that couldn't say no when asked to do something for others. I never had a problem with telling my girlfriends No when they wanted me to pitch in for a party or function thing, if it is something I couldn't or didn't even want to do. That was never an issue for me.
That was always the example I heard given when someone explained a people pleaser or the woman who can never say No. The woman that was always stretched so thin because she couldn't say no to social engagements. So I never identified with lacking that ability.
I definitely lack the ability to say No. I have now learned.
The first time I had to say 'it' was last winter. A dear friend was in need and I was deathly ill with bronchitis. I was so sick that when she called to ask her favor I just blurted the word No and didn't even share with her how sick I was. She was mad and we didn't speak for a long time and truly our friendship is still strained today.
I was not graceful in my delivery of my first No.
Over the course of the Summer I just kept getting more tired and more burnt out. I did approach my boss a couple times but there was nothing to be done, I was the only one that could do the job he had me doing. So I just kept plugging along. With no time off, no holidays in over a year and an average of twelve hour days almost six days a week. We were always short staffed. There was always something.
.......Eventually I broke. Hooked back on drugs and sitting paranoid in my work truck unable to carry out the duties he was paying me for.
Thats when I went to him and told him with huge tears and a shaky voice that I needed to check into detox. Having struggled with drug addiction himself in the past he could relate and the leave granted without issue. While in detox I begged God to work out some more time off for me because I knew five days was not going to be enough time for me to get clean and unburnt out.
Thats where I sit today, just coming back into my power after it being entirely drained early last winter. From not being able to say No.
So when my boss called yesterday to ask if I could take on this huge contract which is actually larger then the one that burnt me out last winter I had to question him..... get this, I didn't even say No... couldn't still, .... after all this crash I still struggle with saying No to my boss.
You have to understand I am a single mother, single after seventeen years of having a man to fall back onto if a job of mine fell through. I also live in a city that is male oriented and rents are ridiculously high. I need to make good money just to live. My boss holds tremendous power over my livelihood.
I just questioned how doing these driveways would affect my sick leave benefits. We both knew that I couldn't legally do the work for him and still be off recovering. He then fired a nasty statement of maybe not having any work for me in January when I come back. I know he was just frustrated but still its shit like that, that make it hard for one to say no to people. My dear friend did the same dripping with a venomous voice when I said no to her as well.
It is very hard to take care of one self and say No when we need to. I have bent over backward for my Boss and truly enjoy working hard for him and making him money. So when I know that my refusal is actually costing him money it is doubly difficult. But I have to remind myself of this past summer and all the money and reputation damage I was costing him by going to work exhausted.
The old school theory of taking care of others before yourself is quickly flying out the window for me. What was once thought of as selfish to put ones needs above another is quickly becoming a ridiculous concept. I was more destructive not only to my job, my boss and my kids but also myself when I was putting my jobs needs above my own.
I am amazed at how much I love making my girls lunches for school and work. I have time and energy for that while being off taking care of myself. I love baking muffins. I even made cheesecake the other day that was so good I almost had tears in my eyes from my own self pride. Self pride that was once a dirty thought. I cook meals for my family and feel so damn good about caring for my girls. I can only care for them in this way because I am taking care of myself.
When my boss poked in frustration. I freaked out. I have printed off a bunch of resumes and was about to send out the Calvary to dispense of them. My reactions still apparently need work.
Last night my youngest daughter wanted money for a gift exchange at her school next week and I had to say No for the second time yesterday. She was angry. I had to explain that with me being off work Christmas was gonna be homemade this year. I felt twinges of anxiety at not being able to provide and thought of retracting my early Bosses No. But I held to my No in both cases and my daughter came out of her room a few minutes later with a brilliant gift idea that cost us nothing. I was proud of her. I was proud of me.
An hour after that my mother called with a question and before I even let her ask it. I jokingly said a big fat No. She launched into it had nothing to do with moving her, which we just did that past weekend, which I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience to exercise my body. I laughed and said I was just practicing my No. Offended she retorted ... Not with me you don't. I laughed inwardly at her defensiveness.
People equally hate being told No as much as they hate saying it. Maybe we all struggle with the giving and receiving of the dreaded NO word.
Well that at least makes me feel a bit better. I love coming to realize I am just like everyone else or others can relate to me. This world is such a huge scary place that even if one person can connect to what I am going through then it brightens up my world!! So here is too all the women that struggle with saying No.... take care of yourself above all others. And for those of us that struggle with receiving the No.... Compassion and Self Acceptance.
Friday, November 7, 2014
Being present in my feelings.
Acknowledging them and giving them proper expression.
Just being aware of them in the first place.
These are hard new applications I am learning. I signed a book out from our public library recently about emotional intelligence. A fascinating read for someone who is just learning to understand feelings and how they effect actions. Turns out I am more emotionally intelligent then I have given myself credit for. I am also coming to realize that my recent blog posts about never having been aware of my feelings before now, is inaccurate.
I have gotten really really good at suppressing and manipulating my feelings. Turns out after some study that as a society we all have been taught to shut down overwhelming or unwanted feelings. Even the new age books that teach of all things love and positive have just taken a new spin on the same control tactics.
Ram Das has been a huge influence these past few weeks for me on the development of my emotional intelligence. Of course along with my amazing therapist who can help me personally clear out my mental distortion around all things feeling and perceptive.
Being present with my emotions is what I want to focus on here. After a lifetime of mastering getting out of my feelings I now want to spend as much time on actually being present with my emotions in the hopes that I will eventually move into recognizing a feeling when it first emerges and dissipating it through my own management of relaxation and meditative responses as opposed to drugging them out.
I am using the words feeling and emotions interchangeably only to learn the proper uses of them.
From my research and budding understandings a feeling is the immediate gut reaction in the body. An emotion is a more blanket term and can last a long time and can be hidden and hard to define... like revenge.
A mood is something again all together different... we wake up sometimes on the wrong side of the bed for no apparent reason, thats a mood. I think moods are appropriate to get out of as they seem to really serve no purpose, just like random negative thoughts. Moods are where we can practice exercise and meditative tricks to get out of.
A feeling is a warning to me. I am very focused on not shutting out my feelings anymore. So for today its the feeling I am trying to stay present with because its the feeling to me that turns into an emotion that is the true cause of some damage in my life.
I remember when my ex husband took me out of my self secure life to a life of full dependence upon him. Within four months of that life with him he decided he wanted a divorce. I went into a rage. Like broke every glass thing in my house kinda rage. After much begging and pleading on my part he allowed me to stay with him. Seven years later I took him out of his nice self secure life and moved him to a new city and within a month, proceeded to walk out on him.
That was revenge.
I had no idea how damaged I was because I did not honor my feelings at the time. I hid how I truly felt, which was hurt and instead begged for him to relearn to love me. I should have left then but instead I convinced myself I needed him and seven years later when I was self supporting again I inflicted that pent up hurt on him.
I had no idea until recently, five years after the fact, this is what I had done. My poor children were damaged in the crossfire of my unresolved pain.
This is why today I feel the tremendous need to sit in my feelings and allow them to speak to me and not be too busy trying to ignore them or quiet them. I need to hear what they are saying because I am tired of acting in ways that even I don't understand because an emotion has been lying dormant for years and pops out at the most inopportune time hurting the people I least want hurt.
I am in the process of letting another guy go from my obsessive mind clutch. I have over analyzed this cycle in my past five years. Why I get hooked up with the unavailable guy and then wonder why I am so devastated when he doesn't want me and why I hold on so tight.
This again goes back to an emotion I refuse to acknowledge.
I have always felt abandoned. I refuse to admit my childhood has effected me. Hell, until recently I didn't even know just how far I have ran away from all things to do with my life pre adulthood. I have always had the mindset of survivor and refuse to be a victim and another broken woman statistic.
Learning now how deep emotions run and how long they will stay trapped in our cells, has forced me to begin to deal with some of these recurring patterns in my life.
I am no fool, I knew my dad left when I was eight. I have watched friends experience the same fates and create the same patterns of attaching to broken guy syndrome in their lives. I knew that's what I was doing. The difference for me was that I thought awareness was enough.
Self acceptance has been my lesson as of late. Coming to accept that whether or not I like it, I am a broken female. Abandonment is but one emotion that is wreaking havoc in my life. But it is the one I am starting with because I am sick and tired of creating this same repulsive pattern with guys. I have used sex and love addiction as my means of getting out of the real issue here.
I am struggling with abandonment.
My dad said a super heart wrenching sorry to me a couple years ago. It has taken me this long to come to accept his apology. To finally let go of my hurt and anger at being left with an emotionally unavailable mother and a family pedophile as her closest friend. I blamed my father for not protecting me and today I am still seeking out the afflicted man to save me.
These I knew as truths I just didn't know how to get out of them. I was always lead to forgiveness but know one showed me how to go in a touch the pain first. To go in and accept it as my truth. Being aware is not enough. Learning to accept that I am seriously damaged brings about a whole shit tonne of feelings. Feelings that until today I could get out of masterfully. I never allowed myself to touch the core of my pain.
Today I am working overtime on being present with the pain of abandonment. I started with the current manifestation of it. A womanizer I got caught up with over the winter who seemed to find a way into my heart and left a home made pipe bomb behind. Dealing with the immediate hurt, has triggered the hurt over what my ex husband did all those years ago. Which was the first warning that abandonment was a smoldering emotion under the surface of my 250lb food suppression.
Now I am slowly moving back into the little eight year old girl that watched her daddy walk down the street on his birthday into one of her best friends houses where he proceeded to make a new family, Leaving her to pick up her mom and raise her brother all the while dealing with weekly sexual assault. I say her because I still need to dissociate in order to even say it. I am still not yet in full acceptance of that as my truth.
Its rough for me to even write that. Acceptance is tough business. I have learned my whole life to keep my secrets tucked away safely, its way better for everyone involved.
Is it though?
I walked out on my own children to get revenge on my father. How is that right? I am done repeating the mistakes of my parents. I have never talked about my pain before, maybe this is the path to finally heal it? I dunno, but I cant keep holding the emotion in any more.
Sharing our stories is what the anonymous program has taught me. Writing has always been my way to express and heal. I have just never been to the center of my pain before.... it seems harder to share this. Who would want this?
I have no idea how to even end this post. Not a pretty writing, not a positive one. Messy process this self acceptance and business of feelings. No wonder why I have gotten so good at suppressing them.
Maybe its time I take up smoking again.......
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Self acceptance. ugh. I had no idea the concept was gonna be this hard to digest.
This is where I am at in my recovery today, self acceptance. What am I recovering? My second sponsor would always ask me that question when I would use the term recovery. It seems fitting today to remind myself of what I am recovering to be able to accept my full self.
I have peeled a new layer of my onion and what I used to be recovering is not so anymore. Before I was recovering a drug free me. I was reaching into the depth of my psyche to recover the whole of me that didn't use dope. I did succeed on that venture.
.... For about 18 months then I got loaded again. As I look deeper and ask myself again what is it I am recovering I come up with a different answer.
I am recovering my feelings.
I shut my feelings off a very long time ago. I used many forms to suppress and manipulate how I felt. In my adult years I mastered and manufactured my feelings to fit my desires and the situations at hand. I got so good at it that I completely and fully dissociated from all my feelings.
After a year of being clean it was getting harder to keep that disconnection from my feelings without
And it sux.
I am struggling hard with self acceptance. I realized recently that I didn't fully accept I was an addict in the past four years of frequenting the meetings of narcotic anonymous. I am from the mind set of what we label ourselves we become. I also believe our speech affirms our labels and to say daily in public that 'I am an addict' actually perpetuated the problem for me.
Those beliefs keep landing me in drug relapse.
Its not that I have to gt rid of the beliefs entirely but what I do need to understand now is that before I can paint a new reality for myself I need to work through the challenge, the lesson first. I am always quick to jump to the end of the road with out having walked the path. I am the hare in the tortoise story, always rushing to be the first one across the finish line having learned nothing along the way.
To move away from my existence as an addict I first have to get real about the fact that I am an addict in the first place. I cannot put drugs into my system without it ending very badly for myself and my life. I have had three major relapses since coming into the N.A. fellowship, I think it is safe to say that I have done enough research to safely say I cannot use dope in any form and stop at just one.
I am officially accepting I am a drug addict.
And my heart is crushed.
To admit to myself that I have a serious personality defect like this or a disease cursing through my spirit, or the mind corrupted by addiction, is to admit I am damaged. I am broken. My sadness these past few days has been all inclusive. Tears flow constantly.
I am accepting I am an addict. I am addicted to anything that will kill my feelings or manipulate them in a way that best suits me. I am addicted to numbing out my spirit and comfortable living in a shell of a body. For the past thirty years I have grown fond of a slow self induced death. I am addicted to all things that will slowly suck the life force out of me.
There is an energy within me that wants me dead. And this is why I am so sad today. To accept that I am an addict is to accept that I have taken part in the slow killing of my own body. I have a part in raping my soul. I have a part in torturing my intuition, beating up my inner goddess. To accept is to take responsibility for my part in my destructive behaviors inflicted on my own self.
Self acceptance is rough personal business.
Awareness is key. I always tell myself this. Following behind awareness is acceptance. I see now that is the truly hardest step to take. Becoming aware is sickening and sometimes to hard to chew and this is where I have chosen denial in the past. But today I am working through the awareness into acceptance.
I have to now move into action. I have not over eaten all week. I have worked so fucking hard on my obsessive thoughts around sex and all thing romantically involved and the person I am obsessed with. I have not used any drugs. This has been my action. This is the work that is solidifying the acceptance. This is my way of showing myself that I am truly beginning to accept I am an addict and there by actually proving that I am not wrong in this awareness..... because its brutal fucking hard to change the way you have thought and behaved for thirty fucking years!!
But the rewards are instant.
The result of Awareness, acceptance and action.....OMG. Feelings!! And lots of the little buggers. They are popping up everywhere. Tears. Giggles. Happy. Sad, Angry. Frustrated. Burning desire. Excitement. Disgust. Guilt. Shame. Defeat. Hope. Joy. Peace. Serenity. Man the list is endless. And I cycle through them as quickly as I can write them. To someone who has felt them their whole lives I wonder if I look a bit nuts right now, but to me who has never allowed them to flow... its kinda amazing and exciting, albeit scary and hard as fuck to just sit with them. But I cannot even begin to describe the relief..... like finally getting to pee after holding your bladder until almost explosion.
So self acceptance i can now see is the first step in moving away from labeling myself an addict. Because it is only through shedding light on the shadow can we then remove it entirely. I am now a recovering addict.
I want to say that's the end of my self acceptance but its not. Now I have to face one very strong lady Vixen who has put a block on all things Love and one really pissed off inner child. One affliction at a time though. I am gonna take the addict acceptance to my heart first and begin to move into a life where I don't feel the need to control my every waking emotion.
Baby steps.... says the tortuous.