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Friday, June 23, 2017
Now that I'm in touch with my intuition, I don't hold back as much as I once did. Al-Anon has taught me that when something feels right, I can trust it is the right thing to do.

I take in typing projects at home and recently typed the family chronicles of an elderly customer. Because it was a 500-page endeavor, we worked together for several months. It was a delightful project, and I grew fond of her. When the project had been completed and we said our goodbyes, I reached out spontaneously to give her a hug.

She stiffened, however, and didn't return the embrace. Apprehension reared up in me, and I backed off. We parted company with just a few words. I questioned myself during the next few days. I was sure I had stepped unknowingly over an invisible line. It was a terrible feeling.

The customer returned later to give me something. During our visit, she shared with me how much the hug meant to her. She said it felt so good she started hugging others. She even began asking her husband, sons, and grandchildren for hugs.

I was astonished at how differently we had each perceived the same situation. My sponsor suggested that the more I healed, the more I'd become a messenger of the program while God choose the message. Who knew I'd be used in such a delightful way to spread a little warmth of the program?

Though for the Day 
There are so many ways to work the Twelfth Step as there are stars in the sky. "We who have lived in anguish for so long have discovered a way to live in serenity, one day at a time, and our greatest joy is to share this way of life with others." As We Understood . . ., p. 231

I remember this one from previous years.  And I am grateful for it. 
My mom went to the movies tonight and it's so nice having the house to myself.

Something about having someone else here, prevents me from feeling entirely like me.  And having my mom, who is often judgmental here, prevents it even more so.  That being said.  I am very aware that this is my issue.

But, all the same.  I sit in my mom's elegant living room and am able to be present.  The house is clean for the night, the kiddos dreaming away.  I hear the fan and feel the warmth of my body.  I choose to wear a sweatshirt and ear warmers, despite the heat.  I feel.............. invigorated.

Just a few hours of "me" time.  If only I could recreate this at will.  Perhaps I can.  The trick is to do it when not alone.

Moving on, then.

The courage to be honest with ourselves is one quality we can cultivate to help our spiritual growth. It takes a commitment to honesty to admit that someone we love has a drinking problem, that alcoholism and many other things are beyond our control, that there is a source of help greater than ourselves, and that we need the care of that Higher Power.
Honesty allows us to look at ourselves, to share our discoveries with God and others, to admit that we need spiritual help in moving forward, and to free ourselves by making amends for past wrongs.
We need to be truthful with ourselves as we continue to review our attitudes and actions each day. This allows us to be humble enough to reach out to others as equals, and to continue to grow in every area of our lives. Where do we find the courage to be so honest with ourselves? The courage to change the things we can in our continuously-developing relationship with a Power greater than ourselves.
Today's Reminder
I know that honesty is an essential part of the Twelve Steps. I am willing to be more honest with myself today.
"Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?" Marcus Tullius Cicero

Wow!  This was so powerful.  God, grant me the courage to be honest with myself.  I feel like that has a lot to do with hearing our inner voice too.  Honest. Open. Willing.  We can not hear or trust our inner voice, unless we are open to being honest with ourselves and courageous enough to be so.  The courage to admit that we are powerless, that we have messed up, that we are not even close to our perfect self is step 1.  I can NOT.  Yet, we still don't like saying it or admitting it.  

I have often asked myself why I don't seem to be able to have a quick turn around from this.  Why didn't I just find another job right away or get my own place?  I think it's to help me with Step 1.  HP knows that I don't like to be honest about my inabilities.  Yet, how can I progress without owning them?  I can't let go and let God if I won't let go.  

And I do want to let go and let God.   

Ok.... again.  That was powerful.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
It's late..............but, I have a lot on my mind.

Thinking about divorce, legal separation, keeping my family together, addiction and bipolar and the trauma bond.

I think my heart is leading me towards divorce.  I listened to a really helpful video on the biochemistry of the trauma bond/ "loyalty bond."

Even though, it's earlier than I had planned to divorce......  I'm not 100% certain.  Not at all.  I chanced upon some photos of our old house on my ipad.  I was looking for photos of L for her upcoming bday party.  And we have photos going back to more than a year ago.

Photos of our little messy house.  The blue walls, the comfy green couch.  The mountain view, rose bushes.........our chalk room office/play room, the carefully painted white board paint in the kids room.... the walls decorated with artwork.  And the joy.  So. much. joy!

I still have a lot of things --- so many beautiful things ----- but, I left a lot to come to a place where we aren't wanted or appreciated.  Our family together........ our pets together....... friends the kids had since job I adored......

I understand why I left, but it shocked my system to see those pictures.  I have tried to help Jules move forward, but I am still quite hurt.

Then.................... probably 10 minutes after I started sifting through pictures.  I found porn.  Lots of porn.  On MY iPad.  Apparently, my iPad got synced with Hubby's phone at some point.

REMINDER - that's why I left.

I'm going to be working on my step 4 again.  After the tears came from missing and the shock came from the realization (again) that my husband is very sick........... I read some recovery stuff and looked through a lot of inspirational and healthy memes.

As I mentioned, the video above was very helpful in the biochemistry aspect.  And the denial which folds over quickly.  My brain is so scared of getting hurt and so desperate for reward.  It's a mess!  That wasn't really the gist of the message.  But, it's a mess.  And a trend... and I've got to separate from it.

I do believe that it all starts with self care.  And those memes helped me realize I want to get back to the steps and my beautiful blue book that's just been waiting for me on my desk.

And a meme for now.........

Monday, June 5, 2017
Journaling on the first two meditations this morning was super peaceful.  The third has been stressful.  I took a painting break with the kids.  Painting is often stress relief, but we had a glitter accident in the house and although it is calm now, I still feel hot blood racing through my body.  Luckily, I can be intentional about shifting my attention.  The glitter is cleaned up, except for a few specks that will make life more sparkly, J is cutting out a rainbow she drew and L is sorting markers and crayons.  And I am cuddled into the arm of the sofa with my laptop and a meditation.  My heart rate is still going a little fast. But, it's calming with awareness of my sense.

5 things I see:  Bubbles, a shiny silver plastic bracelet, flower pajamas, an organic red bell pepper, yellow kid scissors that don't even work on paper.
4 things I hear: A bird occasionally tweeting in the yard, the sound of a crayon clicking against other crayons as L returns it to the box, sequins rubbing against one another, an airplane (this is a 5th, but my breathing)
3 things I a touching: smooth keypad on my laptop, upholstery of the sofa, thick cotton of my sweatshirt on my skin
2 things I smell:  my lotion, glue?? (I think I need to make some nice mint tea)
1 thing I taste: ??/ saliva?

Anyways, just took a call to get the kids on another wait list for child care.  So, fingers crossed.  And I'm pretty regulated.......and ready for some tea.   

10-20 min later............ my last meditation.  :)

CTC - Step 3
The Third Step talks about placing my will and my life in the care of a Higher Power. For me, this Power is a presence that loves me as I am, that accepts me with compassion on the bad days as well as the good. Once I have accepted that the destructive presence of another's alcoholism has affected my life, I need the benevolent influence of a Power untouched by this disease. What I do in turning over my will and my life is to become receptive to guidance; I become willing to accept the care of a Power greater than myself.
I think of this care as a source of love and support that surrounds me in my daily life. I do not need to earn it or to work for it; I need only be receptive to it. I continue to have a will to exercise and a life to live, but I do so bathed in a light of love and understanding.
Today's Reminder
When I open my heart to a Power that fills me with love and acceptance, I can begin to extend those qualities to others. I may not do it perfectly or even consistently, but I can recognize my progress one day at a time.
"God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame." Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When I open my heart to a Power that fills me with love and acceptance, I can begin to extend those qualities to others.  I truly believe this!
"Nobody," said an Al-Anon member, "seems to give us credit for the courage it takes to live with an alcoholic." 

Of course it takes courage, just as it takes courage to face life under any circumstances.

We need courage to believe that no situation is hopeless, to keep cheerful when we have cause for despair, to resist the impulse to complain to others about our sorry lot. It takes a lot of courage to resist the temptation to take over the alcoholic's responsibilities, until we accept the fact that we are only hindering his recovery by doing so.

Above all, it takes courage not to appear courageous as so many do, hoping for sympathy from relatives, friends and neighbors. "Poor brave little woman" may be food for the self-pitying ego, but it weakens character and destroys dignity.

Today's Reminder 
Do I lack the confidence and the courage to do the things that will improve my situation? Am I afraid to let go of another person's obligations? Can I refrain from doing what can only hinder improvement? I may not have the necessary strength and confidence, but I can find them by turning to God and asking for His guidance. 
"Prayers for courage and guidance never go unanswered. But I must be ready to act on that guidance."

Yah......  When Hubby had a rough day yesterday, I experienced confidence in myself and clarity in my own life.  His disorder affirmed my calm.

That is something I need to recognize in myself.  In one way, I think this is super natural.  I made a big decision based on his disorder, that's been tough for me, and then I rarely see that side of him.  It makes sense that it would affirm my big decision.  In another, I feel that I may be seeing an unhealthy side of myself.  I wish my mom's disorder affirmed my calm.  Yet, everything is under the surface with her............ murky, at the root of my life long issues.  

Regardless, living with my mom has been more difficult than living with Hubby.  And I see this despite the drama with hubby.  And I haven't faced it with the courage that I wish I had.  I took an experience and have made it worse than it needed to be.  I haven't remained joyful and cheerful in the face of despair.  In some sort of way, I have.  In others, I have felt hopeless and despondent.  This three days of space has given me so much opportunity to explore this.  It hasn't been that long.  Yet, it has felt like the longest 6 months of my life.  It has been long enough for my confidence to go into hiding.

And I'm rambling.  But, I'm going to keep this stream of consciousness going.  I don't feel the need to complain to others on the outside.  I complain on my inside, at times, in wonder.  How did this happen?  In the clarity of the morning, it doesn't appear so horrible.  But, i typically feel like the dregs of society.  The lowest of the low..... a parasite.  With my mom gone, I just feel like me......... not working for a stretch after separating from my husband.... no big deal.

I love the strong words about "acting courageous" and inviting pity.  This is a character flaw that I truly appreciate al anon pointed out so frequently.  I don't want to be like this.  I don't know that I invite it willingly, but people naturally want to paint you as such.  I hate pity and I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me.  I think this is an attitude that makes me want to isolate and not share my story.

And lastly, prayer.....  "Prayers for guidance never go unanswered. But i must be ready to act on that guidance."  I must be ready to act on that guidance.  A I ready????  I think I am today.  Trust God for 5 minutes.  I can do this!!  Maybe some meditation is needed. 
Feeling like blogging this morning.  I blogged on my private blog a lot last night.  And I came to some old passages due to an eventful evening.  

If it brings me back to my daily meditations, i am grateful.  Here we go................

HFT - Step 2
If there was nothing else I could do, I always prayed: "Dear God, please make sure that is not true," or "Help me find my keys." I took care of the rest. I did not tax God unnecessarily because I was a capable person and I didn't think He could achieve anything better. The possibility He would spend time on my problems was unimaginable. I was convinced the answer would be, "You can do it yourself" or "It's your own fault, so accept the consequences."

After a few years in Al-Anon, I came to accept my powerlessness over the alcoholic in my life. However, because I could not bear the powerlessness for long, I sought help in the Second Step. At that point I became aware that I perceived God as a cold, merciless being who could not spare time to help anyone as useless as me.

I heard some members talk of God as gracious, loving, and supportive. Could this be true? The Third Step asked me to do something new – to hand over control of my will and my life, not knowing exactly who this God was or whether He would help me. At that time in my life, I was drowning in problems. I figured God couldn't slip up too much in just one day. I tried Step Three and turned myself over for the first 24 hours. I paid close attention to how I was feeling that evening. I felt good, so He got my will and my life 24 hours. Each new day I turn myself over to God's care because what He does is well done.

Thought for the Day
I need only turn myself over one minute, one hour, one day at a time.
"I began turning my life over five minutes at a time and watching God very carefully to see what happened." From Survival to Recovery, p. 34

I think some of the mindsets in the first paragraph fit mine implicitly.  I do believe that God is loving and powerful and so much better equipped than I to deal with anything.  And yet............... I am trying to dispel this "It's your own fault, so accept the consequences" idea.  I think I need to blatantly tell myself that is not true.

Hi!...........F.............  It's not your fault..............  You are giving yourself a bit too much power there.........  And even if it was.......... you can best accept your plight/consequences by giving your life to God (not running in shame.)  

So, maybe, "It doesn't matter if it's your fault.  It's your story and......... run to God."

Maybe, I need to work a bit on being concise.  I've never thought that before.  ;)   

Anyways, I love the idea of giving my life over to God for an operational amount of time.  1 minute, 5 minutes, etc.