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Monday, July 31, 2017

step 1

"I deal with what life throws at me."

I was doing some affirmations that someone posted on youtube, and this one popped up.  It reminded me of Step 1.

- I didn't have control over the unhealthy dynamics of my family of origin or the coping mechanisms i developed because of them.  Life "threw that at me."  I survived it and dealt with it the best way that I could.

- I don't have any control over genetic predispositions to anxiety, depression, procrastination, perfectionism (whatever my problem may be).  Life threw that at me, and I'm dealing the best way I know how.

- I didn't have control over O getting bipolar or starting to drink.  I don't have any control over the coping mechanisms he learned from family or origin, reaction to traumatic experiences or genetics.  When he started behaving that way, when life threw that at me, I dealt with it the best way I knew.  I'm still dealing with it.  It's hard.  But, I'm doing it.

-  I didn't have any control over getting sick during L's pregnancy.  Life threw that at me.  I dealt with it the best way that I knew.

-  I don't have any control over not getting any of the "career" type jobs I applied for or for private clients falling through.  I dealt with that the best way that I knew.  And still am..........




I have a lot of crossroads in front of me.  And I don't know what the best choices are.  But, I do know that my faults are mostly do to coping mechanisms from family of origin, trauma or genetics.  There is no point in beating myself over them.  And life threw some bad stuff at me.  Others have it much worse.  But, life threw stuff at me.  I didn't choose it.  I didn't choose to have my family teach me this unhealthy way of living, I chose O, but did it the best way I knew how, at the time.  I don't have control over him getting sick, over me, getting sick.  These were things life threw at me.

And even if life didn't throw things at me, if they are due to choices made in the past.  I don't have control over those either.  I already made those decisions.  Some made as self sabotage, some made unwisely, some made trying to do my best, but they are already made.  I can't make those decisions again.

All I can do is focus on what I have now.  I want to take responsibility for what has happened to me.  but, it truly has been out of my control.  I feel guilt.  But, it is out of my control.



"I  deal with what live throws at me."  I can take pride in that and move forward with that.




ODAT
I would like to look back over this month and see what progress I have made, and what changes have taken place in my life as a result of my practicing the Al-Anon program. 
Have I given sufficient attention to the Twelve Steps? Have I done at least a little reading each day? Are my family relationships more serene and happy than they were a month ago? Have I renewed a strained friendship; made good for an injury to someone, made an effort to avoid gossip, tried to learn something new?
Today's Reminder 
This will be my day of review and preparation for the coming month in which I will renew my efforts to progress in my personal development. 
If I cannot see any improvement in the month which is ending today, I will not be discouraged for, among other things, I must learn to accept myself as I am. Everything good I can bring about must begin with that. 
"An occasional review of my progress is an encouraging exercise, for it shows me that I am gradually learning how to live in poise and serenity."

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I love the gentleness of this program.  "I must learn to accept myself as I am.  Everything good I can bring about, must begin with that."

Over the last month, I do see progress.  I have not done reading each day and I haven't given sufficient attention to the 12 steps.  My family relationships are a little better, I renewed a couple strained friendships, I have made an effort to avoid gossip, and I am trying hard to learn new things.  

I'm working on giving myself credit where credit is due.  And I love this passage for today.  Mondays are truly my favorite day of the week!
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
I seem to be using my blog for getting things off my chest, lately and venting.

I'm feeling a lot of emotions right now.  And I want to get them out.

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I feel absolutely horrible.  I truly feel like the worst person ever.  I got into a discussion with my mom that I never ever should have gotten into.  And I told my mom things my sister had told me in confidence for my own special reasons.

It is horrible.  I honestly feel like trash.  I feel like the worst sister ever and the worst person ever and the worst hypocrite ever.



I have a feeling that my sister won't care that much.  But........... she might.  And........ she should.

She truly doesn't need another crappy person in her life who is going to betray her trust.

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I sent her an email apologizing.  And I think the only way to make amends is to avoid all conversation like this with my mom.  And just to never ever bring her up as a defense or validation for my own beliefs.  My sister doesn't need to deal with this and deserves much much more.

And just to continue working on myself, so I don't feel the need to JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain).

Whew.  Deep breath.

This brought out big ugly tears.  I feel like I have betrayed someone who has been there for me.

Ok.  More deep breaths.

I'm going to move forward..................... because I can't control what I did.  I already did it.  I can't undo it.  And I can control my need to JADE.

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I took a little break to send an email to a friend and now I'm feeling better.  Amazing how that works.  The beginning of my blog was written in one of those "depths of despair" moments, to quote Lucy Montgomery.  I've been having those occasionally.  They don't last long.  They are typically after something goes wrong that feels unfair.  This was the first one I've had after I was the one who did something wrong.

In my now clear state again, I do believe my sister will be ok with it.  I can't remember, but she may have even said it was ok if I told her.  Regardless, what I did was not ok.  But, I'm going to learn from it and not tear myself apart over it.

I think JADE is something I really really need to work on.  I've noticed myself feeling like i have to explain myself to random people.  Like, if I ask for soda water, I explain or justify why.  And, I can't think of another example, but I've been doing it frequently.  Oh..... today, I forgot J's blanket for preschool.  I felt the need to explain why.  I don't need to Justify Argue Defend and Explain and I've gotten into this habit that reeks of low self esteem.

And that is what I was doing with my mom.  I was trying to defend how I felt by using my sister's experiences.  That I was not alone.  I felt the desire to justify so badly, that I dragged my sister into a discussion/argument that she wasn't even here for.

I'm not going to say I feel like trash because I'm through that.  But, this desire was very very strong.  And I think I could really benefit by targeting it as my new goal.

Ok........... exhausted.  Actually, started my period today (which often happens after an emotional outburst).  And have a promising day tomorrow that my body needs rest for.




Saturday, July 22, 2017
I sit here right now........ and I wonder where the real me has disappeared to.

Warning - this is a message written in a moment of sadness.  I am wholly aware of that.



I have been privileged enough to share my story with a lot of people over the last week.  Maybe 8 or 9.... therapists, nurse practitioner, intake people in Mental Health Services and Family Stabilization Services, my case worker, etc..  

It just so happens that my appointment with my Primary Care Physician fell on the same week that I started Mental Health Services with Calworks.  I've wanted therapy services for awhile and am now, finally, going through the intake process through both insurance and MHS.  I also have been connected with affordable couples counseling through Calworks.  I should go full swing into actual therapy next week, including a couples session with O, hopefully a group therapy session, and one 1:1 (maybe two). The calworks system really expedited everything!  

I've had a few epiphanies during the telling on my story, not all of which I'll go into.  Most of the epiphanies came while I was telling my story to a kind, to the point, male therapist, who was evaluating me through my insurance.  He would have been the person to refer me for medication.  He did not at this time, but prescribed deep breathing exercises and physical exercise as my daily medicine.  Out of the professionals I've seen thus far, he impressed me the most.  This also includes the therapists I saw before leaving O, as well........ with the exception, perhaps, of my therapist who specialized in partners of sexual addicts.  She was also superb, in a different but equal way.  

He reminded me:
1) To keep a clear mind regarding my mom.  He saw the situation as black and white.  While talking to him, I used the phrase "Monster mode" to describe my mom when she is overwhelmed or angry.  I tried to retract the statement, it just popped out, but he told me not to retract it.  He encouraged me to keep a very clear mind, in regards to my mom and to hold onto that "monster mode" phrase.  It was interesting how he could see the situation so clearly, with so little information.  He also reminded me that the living situation with my mom is not safe for my kids, considering how she treated me and my sister emotionally, when we were children.  

Sigh.

That's not what I wanted to hear.


2) He reminded me that all of the issues that I've had with O are related to the chaos of my upbringing.  

3) He encouraged me to truly do the exercise and breathing like medicine, so that I get out of a reactive state.

4) When I told him my concerns regarding my short term memory, he responded that was "par for the course, when going through a life transition like this."

He's also going to hopefully get me set up with a therapist by the end of this week.  Wow!  Things have truly started happening.  I even got an acceptance from childcare I've been on the waitlist for since January/February (can't remember exactly).  We already have childcare, at this point.  But........... also, I have childcare.  So, I can work on my business.  And since I have all this support now, and will be more proactive about getting myself out of a reactive state, I'll hopefully be able to stick with it.  





I'm glad I'm writing this out.  It helps.  One of the things, I have been waiting for a regular therapy session to talk about is the loss of identity I feel and just overwhelming loss for having a life plan.

One thing, which I haven't come to terms with......... is what happened to my animals.  (deep breath).  When I adopted these animals into my home, I did it understanding the lifetime commitment I had to them.  I made intentional choices for them, bought them collars, trained them, researched what food to feed them.  They were part of my family.  

Through our split, they have been through very bad times.  ET died.  Tipsy and Snowball were happy with O, at his old house.  But, then he got evicted.  They are at C's again.  They are in O's room... but, he's not there half the time because he's commuting for work.  They aren't ridiculously unhappy, but they aren't happy.  It's not a good setting for them.  It's probably better there, then separating them again.  But, you see....... not only do I miss them.  I do.  But, I do not recognize myself as a person who would ever put them in this situation.  I try not to think about it.  It is too much to take.  

And Oso.................I miss him dearly.  I think he is fairly happy.  But, I, also, adopted him into a family that would stay together.  Every decision was so intentional.  And now, I have no say over those decisions. It is a part of me missing.

And being a person without a path, without a home, without a plan.  Who is this person?  She's not the person I know.  

I used to have all these ideas about school districts and buying homes and, you know, future life.  All that is gone.  

I suspect it will not be this way forever.  

But it is now.  And.............. yes.  Getting to know other moms, leaves me at a loss of words.  

ex: 
Them - "I live over by ________.  Where do you live?"  
Me - "Oh, I don't have a home.  But, I'm on a wait list for a local shelter.  I'm living with my mom, but I don't want to be here and she doesn't want me here."  

Yah..............  That wouldn't go so well.  So, I say, "I'm living with my mom, since I split with hubby."  Then I get pity.  

Or, they say what their husband's do or what they do, or talk about school districts or vacation or something that's a part of a stable life.

And..........I don't always feel like going into the fact that my life is unstable right now.  It's too raw, too vulnerable for a first meeting or second.  J mentioned a friend she made awhile back as one of her friends and I haven't arranged a play date.  I feel so bad that she is being affected by my desire to self isolate.  Sigh.  

Anyways................  It is getting late.  And it's time for my body to rest.

Thanks, Blog, for a wonderful vent.  I think next time, I'll probably have some positive recovery quotes.

Warmly,
F
Friday, July 14, 2017
J wanted to cuddle last night and I ended up falling asleep with the kids until the morning.

L wakes up and instantly says, "Where's J?" in toddler speak.  Kind of sounds like "/way/ /joo/?"  With the best question intonation (despite the fact that their bodies were literally touching each other).    She sees her sister and throws her body on her in a huge hug and a gigantic smile.  "/joo/ /joo/ /joo/!!!!"  She is elated to see her sister.  She is kissing her and hugging her.  J wakes up and says, "That's enough, L." in a groggy voice.  I mean, it is 4:50am   But, then she sees how excited L is and asks if she wants a hug and kiss.

It is clear that there is no place that J would rather be.    

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What an amazing way to wake up!!  She was so grateful to be with her sister.  And I am so grateful to have each of them in my life.  I feel they are perfect additions to my family tree.  As, we often say "perfectly imperfect."

Instead of just doing gratitude lists.  I have been trying to very intently focus on being overwhelmed with gratitude in the now.  I have been just exclaiming things I'm grateful for and ecstatic about, when in the car, especially.  And I've started saying to the kids, "There is no place I'd rather be, but here with you."  And meaning it with all my heart.

I am embracing the quote from Oprah, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."

I have spent a lot of time focusing on what I want and don't have.  I want to get in the practice of focusing on what I have.  And despite being especially emotional the past few days, it's been working really really well.  And it is a vital principle that I want to pass on to my girls.  


Tuesday, July 11, 2017
And I just realized that I'm in pain (that's going to make me feel bad).

How can you forget that?? I don't know.  But, I have an issue with a tooth that I really probably need to take care of tomorrow.  But, possibly sleep comes first. I feel a mess.  Thank God, I know that I will be better tomorrow.  One day at a time.  and first things first  First thing right now = sleep .
HFT
One of the oddest things I learned in recovery was to develop tolerance and even desire for feeling good. At first I didn't connect much with other people. I didn't let anything approximating intimacy occur. Later, I noticed a paradox. When someone accepted or cared for me, I felt pleasure and pain. I was perplexed. Why would I feel pain in the same time as happiness? I asked an Al-Anon friend about this. She wondered if experiencing the good feeling I yearned for as a child might stir up some pain. She said the "receiving might, for a short time, bring up the "not receiving."

Her words proved to be true for me. I did go through a recovery phase during which receiving others' love, approval, and respect almost instantly recalled deeply buried sadness at not having received those things from my parents while I was growing up. In fact, I often didn't know such pain was inside until someone was nice to me. Then I would pour it out into my sponsor's loving ears and arms. Eventually I learned that my parents couldn't give what they didn't have, and I was able to feel compassion for them. 

Practicing "Easy Does It" helped me. I sometimes chose to leave meetings before they ended. I had received as much "good stuff" as I could handle on that particular day. Sometimes I had to limit the number of hugs I accepted. I'd share my thoughts and feelings afterward with my sponsor. Gradually, I began to like, and even love, getting the "good stuff" that leaves me feeling serene and happy.

Thought for the Day 
If recovery feels too painful, maybe I need to slow down and practice "Easy Does It." 
"Easy Does It" and "First Things First" help us to keep moving, but remind us we need only take small steps." From Survival to Recovery. p. 95



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This is really a great message for me today, when I'm feeling some pain on the verge of good changes happening.  
Feeling really low.

I'm tired of letting myself down and letting my kids down.




I know they don't feel let down.  And I do a lot of intentional and wonderful things for them.  But.............. J started talking about a sponsor's child today........... and I isolated myself from the sponsor (hence the child, too).  And I haven't talk to her (sigh).  It weighs on me occasionally that I would feel relief if I contacted her.  And then another potential friend of J's............. they wanted to continue to be friends after she left her past preschool.  And I isolated.  I just didn't feel comfortable talking about my life issues.  And when we got together, we talked a TON while the kids played.

And I'm planning my birthday party, as my birthday is coming up.   And more people I've isolated from.  Ugh.   Or the people I'd like to come are stretched across the country.  Last year, when I turned 30, I had 4 mommy friends, who had become very good friends, go out for dessert with me.  As of today, one of them is in Texas.  One is about an hour away from me, one is two hours from me and one I haven't kept in contact with.  These were real relationships.  They all knew about my current issues in my marriage (to a certain extent) and I was authentic with them.  Gosh.  I had so much more support a year ago.

Now, most of the people I've isolated from can be reconnected with, with a single text.  And it would bring relief to me, to a certain extent.  But, I still don't really feel a huge urge to socialize with them.  Just today, I responded to an old friend with an apology.  I want to be good friends for them when they need it.  But............. a lot of these people just aren't my "safe" people.  And I don't yet know how to be authentic to myself and not share too much or not enough.  If this makes any sense.

I'm just getting all this out.  My hunch is that I'm tired..........  I'm in a time of transition.  And........... I'm acutely aware of my weaknesses.  I know that I don't always feel this way.  And I don't believe I'll feel this way tomorrow.

I've been doing some really nice things that I can feel proud of lately.

I'm just going to post a reading or two and then be out for the night.


Monday, July 10, 2017
I'm so excited because it's my lovely J's first day of her new "preschool"/home daycare setting.  There are things to work out.  L loved hers at first, but has now been serious and sad "ish".  I'm going to see if I can group them together, possibly.  I can't decide if I want them apart or together.  But................ for today..... I'm excited!!

And we have a schedule today.  I do love schedules.  6-7am family exercise time.  I'm hoping to include a stretch session where we do gratitude and I want to do this every day before school/work.   Then breakfast, then drop off.  Then I do job search activities, then pick ups, etc.

Actually, I have to go get ready.  Oh and mindset work is coming into recovery too.  So so much to work on.

Too do loo!



Strengthening my Recovery - July 10th 

Codependence

"As adult children from various families, we focus on ourselves for the surest results.  We gradually free ourselves from codependent or addictive relationships."  BRB p.60

Before we entered recovery, it seemed like our relationships were codependent or addictive.  It's what we were used to; it's what we grew up with.  If anyone wanted something different from us, we were uncomfortable because we didn't really understand what that "something" was.  We could keep up the act for a short time, but the walls eventually went up.  We had no role models for healthy give and take.  

As we learn to focus on ourselves in ACA, at first it seems awkward.  Most of us are not used to taking care of ourselves emotionally.  Gradually we begin to see that we can walk away from those who still abuse us and we feel a sense of freedom that's new, because we don't feel guilty.  

We gather strength from those who have come before us in the program.  We hear how they have faced difficult changes with faith and trust in their Higher Power and those they share their journey with.  We see the promises of this program being fulfilled in others, and we now have the courage to ask for the guidance that's available.  

On this day I release my codependent and addictive relationships in favor of those based on mutual respect.  I will learn a new "dance" that fills me with life.  

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There is so much truth here for me.  I love the GRADUALLY freeing ourselves from codependent or addictive relationships.  It respects the process and also hilights my process, which has been extremely gradual.

I want to be a role model for healthy give and take with O and we are working on it.  I still want to tell him what to do, but there are many many many things I can control in myself.

1) Not correct O's parenting in front of the kids ever (unless it's an emergency).

2) Support his parenting decisions in the moment (and talk it over later, unless it's a huge huge deal).  No signs of disrespect, including facial expressions, if I disagree with the route.  Be kind, compassionate.  And realize that I may know the kids better because I'm with them all the time.  He can't be expected to with just a few hours a day.  And that would be the same if he was working full time.  That's no reason to be cruel about it.  :(

3) Follow my intuition.  And if things are not comfortable, make a plan to do it differently next time, instead of get unregulated or stressed out.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Strengthening my Recovery - July 8th

Willingness

"In ACA we become willing to apply what we learn in the program to our daily lives and to relationships." BRB p.401

When we first got to ACA, some of us couldn't wait for recovery to be finished.  How long was this going to take, because we had better things to do than hang out with damaged people.  After all, our story wasn't that bad.  We just wanted to fix the little things that were holding us back so we could get on with our real lives. 

Now Step Work and service are two of our favorite things to do.  Creating a safe place for ourselves and others - to acknowledge the wounds we all carry - and to begin to grow is the most exciting adventure we have ever been on.  The 12 steps are a design for living that is better than anything else we have tried up to this point in our lives.  We are grateful for those who came before us who kept the doors open.

In our homes and in our jobs we practice what we learn at meetings - like listening.  We allow others to speak their truth.  We learn not to control others and not to let ourselves be controlled or manipulated.   We trust that the principles of the program that have worked for so many others will continue to work for us in all our affairs.  We are becoming fearless in our pursuit of a healthy life.  We now have joy, and others can see that. 

On this day, I will be real in all that I do.  By doing so, I make space for others to own their truths. 

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Creating a safe place for ourselves and others - I really really want my home to be a safe place for me and the kiddos.

To acknowledge the wounds we all carry - There is something to getting out of the victim mentality and realizing that this is a common part of being human.

The most exciting adventure we have ever been on - Do I ever look at exploring myself or life as the most exciting adventure I've ever been on?  I sure want to!

We become fearless in our pursuit of a healthy life - pursuing health means change and it IS scary, hence the need for bravery and higher power.

On this day, I will be real in all that I do.  By doing so, I make space for others to own their truths. This will take practice.  But, a very worth endeavor! And noting that me being real is connected to others having space to decide to do the same.

Friday, July 7, 2017
Ok, this is a post dedicated to Mrs. Beason, based on my previous entry.  My one reader (haha), may also know this particular teacher.

Carole is a retired Elementary School teacher with professional experience as a Master teacher and Art Program Curriculum Coordinator for the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD). Her efforts resulted in the creation of an Annual Art Fair for her school, Richland elementary, which became a tradition at the school that is going on each spring to this day.  Additionally she established a theater and symphony field trip program for the school.
Carole has been recognized with several District and Community awards for Art education, including Who’s Who in Teaching. Carole has a B.S. in English through U.C. Berkley and San Diego State University. Graduate studies including credential requirements, was accomplished at United States International University.
Carole has been involved in the growth of The Kid’s College and is now active on the Kid’s College Board of Trustees.
This memory that popped up during my last entry was of someone who was able to show me love and act in the "loving parent" role, even though she was a teacher and our interactions did not go far outside of the classroom.
What do I remember of her?  
She gave hugs that were almost uncomfortably long, for us 5th grade students.  She loved my reading and would encourage the whole class to clap for me after I read.  She was a big fan of the arts and apparently had some pretty big achievements in our little school and town, including an annual art fair, a symphony trip and an after school club for advanced learners.  She gave us advanced learners freedom to put on performances for books we had read, she did a unit on monet and was very excited that I was in musical theater.  I thinks he also gave me an extra credit assignment to write a 20 page report on a topic of interest.  
And, of course, she retired the  year we had her...... and she cried a lot during the retirement ceremony.  My friend and I made her a video goodbye and she accepted it lovingly, tearfully and with big hugs.  This is all through a 10 year old's memory.  
I wanted to spend a moment thinking of her, being grateful for her and hoping to be a bit like her.  She is still around and perhaps I will send her an email, if I see her address.  I am sure she has made a positive difference in many lives.  

Strengthening My Recovery - July 7th

People-Pleasing

"By transforming our people pleasing manner, we do not stop caring about others. However, we stop going over the line to ensure that we are never abandoned." BRB p.112

As children, we looked to others, such as our parents or teachers for approval.  Doing so, often kept us safe.  Over time, this practice taught us to abandon our own sense of worth in favor of someone else's external measure of our value.  Without others' approval, we felt like failures.

Through ACA, we learn to listen to our own inner loving parent's voice, no longer needing to rely on others to give us a sense of ourselves.  We learn to be true to ourselves, acting in ways that are aligned with our core values, beliefs and feelings that are becoming part of us.  We seek noone's approval, but our own. 

We sometimes find that our new actions may cause conflict with others.  But with confidence in our new inner compass and no longer fearing abandonment, we hold fast to our beliefs, speak our truths, and strengthen our sense of self.  We no longer need external forces to justify our existence.  

On this day, I will listen to my inner loving parent and know that it is all the approval I need for my thoughts and actions. 

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Wow!  So far, ACOA/ACA fits me like a glove.  It fits me despite me knowing that my family had an addictive family dynamic.

And despite realizing that the dynamic it had was one of shame.  I think I can say this and still remember and be grateful for the many positive dynamics in my family home.  It was a family home filled with laughter, in some ways being allowed to be a kid, involved "loving" parents, and shame, judgement and scapegoating.

So, interesting.  Anyways.  A lot of this passage spoke to me and challenged me.  This is not a way of talking that I am familiar with.

1) My people pleasing is related to a fear of being abandoned.  I'm not used to thinking of it this way.  This is probably why the stakes feel so high for someone to like me or not. And when they don't.......... why it feels so uncomfortable.  My "inner child" (the verbage is new, but I'm going with it) is saying, "If this person doesn't like me, I'm going to be abandoned and in danger."  I guess........(again this is new and uncomfortable), my inner loving parent can say, "If this person doesn't like you, it doesn't change a thing.  You live your life based on what's important to you.  Trust your intuition.  And you know that what is important to you is worthy and who you want to be.  Her liking you doesn't change that.  And there will be no danger if she doesn't like you.  Most importantly, your father in heaven likes and loves you.  You just keep being you."  Then my inner loving parent will hug me and give me a kiss.

By the way, I'm  having to breathe through that last part.  It's apparently difficult to "hear" this kind of loving talk towards myself.  It's eliciting an emotional reaction, I just can't identify what exactly it is.  And that's ok.  Maybe release of responsibility or facade.  Allowance to be myself???

2) Without other's approvals, we felt like failures.  This was not too much of a problem, during my first two decades.  Mainly because I had a lot of approval.  Now that things are not as universally approved of, I am having trouble being vulnerable and self loving.

3) Acting in ways that align with our core beliefs.  I feel like this makes all the difference in the world.  I am able to do things that are against popular opinion with my kids because I believe strongly that it how I want to raise them.  I sometimes still struggle, but that core belief helps me withstand my doubts or disapproval or let them just slip off.  I think I need to reevaluate my core beliefs explicitly.  Some of my old beliefs are at odds with how I'm living now.  One big belief was that I could power through any problem.  My new belief is that this is unhealthy and not a good way to live life.  I have spent so much time analyzing what I feel strongly about regarding child rearing, but not so much what I feel strongly about regarding how I approach conflict and life problems.

4) Inner loving parent - My first thought was................. I'm not sure if I have one of those.  I'm curious if there is a formula for it in the program.  I don't think I need the formula.  I do believe I'm blessed with kind words for others.  Giving that to myself right now, was novel and emotional.  That was not something I heard growing up.

It actually reminds me of a time with my 5th grade teacher.  I received an A- on an oral report.  Perfectionist that I was, I was extremely upset.  I was taking a long time to pack up my stuff to go outside and she could see I was upset.  She gave me some kind words and a hug and I just couldn't stop myself from crying.  The kindness elicited the tears.  And I cried and cried.  And I wished she hadn't hugged me because it was uncomfortable and a couple friends saw.

Mmmmm.  I think this work is going to be interesting.....
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Me - "You painted it.  You put glue on it. You put glitter on it. And you created it all by yourself with your creativity."

J - "It wasn't my creativity.  It was in my dreams........ Thank you for making my dream come true!



A few notes...............

1) I'm going to be delving into the ACOA side of my recovery.  I am exploring how I became the way I am.......... that it is normal, in my situation.  And how to change this.  

quote - "All the ingredients of being truly intimate, such as being vulnerable, allowing others to get close and liking ourselves, are the exact opposite of the survival skills developed by adults" raised in a shame based home.  Complete ACOA Sourcebook p.xiii

2) I read an old entry from when I was blogging in October of last year.  So much has changed since then.  Seeing that progress, made me feel great.  I then went back to July 2016 and realized that is when I started writing my blog again.  I thought it was much earlier.  I am giving myself some credit.  I have come a long way, in a short period of time.  ::::::::pat on back::::::::::::::::

3) Today was amazing and tiring.  I think I'll do my meditations first and then post on it.

Welll, actually, I'll do quick notes now.  I'm already so tired.

- ran 5k with the girlies.  It was so much fun!  I am very proud of myself for doing this.  it is a commitment that is very important to me.......... beach........ parade.......... free icecream...... so much candy........... grateful the parade was at the time needed............ super hot.......... super sore........... brought Hubby home in car................. kids slept in car............ I got fast food..............had


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::Apparently I fell asleep last night while writing this.  It's morning now, I'll continue


had......?  A nice relaxing break.  :) ................ firework excitement excitement excitement............ sleep.



It was a fantastic 4th of July.  And I'm so proud of myself for the gains I've made.  Hubby was planning on going with us to the 5k to cheer us on.  He changed his mind.  It was no big deal.  A year or two ago, I was so enmeshed that I would have considered a) not going, b) trying to make him go, c) getting upset and frustrated and sad.... feeling bad for myself, etc.  Yesterday, I simply knew that he changes his mind frequently, so maybe he'd go, maybe he wouldn't.  It was no big deal at all.  We had a phenomenal time at the race.

Same with the fireworks, actually.  Hubby wanted to be there, but messed up his ride situation and didn't make it.  I felt bad for him (and honestly, his family was underwhelmed when they realized it was just me...., oh well), but it didn't stop us from having a fantastic time.  
Sunday, July 2, 2017
HFT
In my search for help in coping with the effects of growing up with alcoholism, I accumulated shelves of books on psychology, religion, and a variety of self-disciplines As a child I felt I could count on no one, and I was suspicious of asking others for help. I preferred to seek a solo form of assistance from books.
I started attending Al-Anon meetings sporadically, but I still didn't feel comfortable reaching out to the people there. Ironically, given my preference for the written word, I didn't grasp the idea that thousands of real-life Al-Anon experiences were available to me in Conference Approved Literature. It didn't dawn on me that this literature, right at my comfort level, could be my entree into Al-Anon and into the experience of turning to others for comfort and guidance.
A friend of my family who attends Al-Anon meetings noted my struggle and gently shared with me the benefits she found from reading CAL. Aware that someone genuinely cared, I decided to buy my first Al-Anon book. I read it at home alone and pondered it for quite some time before I decided to give regular attendance at Al-Anon meetings a fair attempt.
Now I'm slowly accumulating a full library of Al-Anon publications by purchasing them at meetings and studying each one in turn. I've even mustered the courage to discuss my readings with other members. The insights garnered have turned my suspicion into trust. I've come out of my solitary personal library into the welcoming human world of Al-Anon.
Thought for the Day
Any entrance into Al-Anon is valid, even if at first it's not the door to the meeting place.
"Our literature is a principle means by which Al-Anon growth, unity and service are facilitated. The influence of the many thousand books and pamphlets . . . is incalculable." Al-Anon/ Alateen Service Manual, p. 182

I appreciate this.  I am broken and hurt and an individual.  I'm going to work in the best way that I work and it may not be in the way of others.  I am coming to peace with the fact that my path is my own and whatever is at my comfort level, is ok.  I'm going to trust myself and that is one of the biggest lessons al anon has taught me.  That inside of me is wisdom from my higher power.  It's in ME.  

Ok..... and that's a wrap.  Until the morning.  
ODAT
Some people I meet in Al-Anon seem to have a kind of natural joy-of-living. Their optimism tells you they know there's something good waiting for them right around the corner. Their hopeful confidence rubs off on every troubled person they talk to. They make every meeting a kind of special adventure.
Newer members are astonished to learn that many of these people, when they were new in Al-Anon, were also burdened with woe and black despair. It was Al-Anon that brought the joy-of-living, hope and confidence, out into the open, ready to be used to help others.
Today's Reminder
As soon as I am willing to dig into the program and put the Twelve Steps and the slogans to work, by daily reading and constant application, I will forget to be "mad" at people, forget to be sorry for myself. l And that leaves a world of room and think-time for serenity, acceptance and gratitude for what is good in every day.
"I'll only be able to help others when I have allowed Al-Anon to clear up my own view of my problems. Until I am impelled to share with others what I get from this program, my own progress will be limited."


---------------------------
I have seen people like this.  At times, I am like this person and I certainly want to be like her again.  
CTC - Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis

Al-Anon helps many of us to identify and change self-destructive behavior. In my case, procrastination was the source of a great deal of needless anxiety, but with Al-Anon's help I have managed to recognize and change that patter.
As I learned to focus on myself, I began to pay attention to my own thoughts and feelings. When I felt anxious, I took the time to find out what was causing my discomfort. I realized that I had a habit of postponing unpleasant tasks until the last possible moment. Knowing I would have to perform the task eventually. I found it hard to relax until it was done. I came to see that if I took care of the task right away, I could usually let go of anxiety and appreciate the rest of the day. Old habits can be hard to break. It didn't happen overnight, but as I became more willing to let go of procrastination, my life became more manageable and more enjoyable.
Today's Reminder
If I am getting in the way of my own best interest, a closer look at my behavior can lead to positive changes. By focusing on myself, I move toward freedom and serenity today.
"Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped." Liberian proverb


I like the idea of "being willing to let go" of procrastination.  It is a gentle approach!  I also like the proverb.


****also, just got this podcast for procrastination. http://iprocrastinate.libsyn.com/


So, Hubby and I are getting a divorce.

It will take 6 months to process.  I have no idea what the future will bring.  At this moment, I'm at peace with that.  I'm hoping to file the first paperwork on Wednesday.


I have a few questions..............

-  How do I explain a split based on infidelity to kids?  I don't need to worry about that yet.  I don't feel like I have to announce to anyone that we are in the process of divorce.  And I don't feel like I have to tell the kids.  I know, for me, that I'm saying it's unacceptable to be with someone who isn't taking action to make sure they are a husband that is loyal to me.  And the kids won't understand it for awhile anyways.  Nothing is changing for them right now.

I have more questions.  But, the truth is that I don't need to know the answers now.  Most have to do with when/if I started dating again, and that probably wouldn't be for a few more years.  So, I'll just let them be unanswered until they need to be.

And for my ring, I'm married for another 6 months, anyways.  So, I don't have to decide whether to wear or not wear it.


Ok, that's my big update.  Whew!  Another update...  the kids are starting subsidized daycare soon.  I have mixed feelings.  L starts tomorrow.  Fear is a feeling I'm getting right now.  She is going to be there for 6.5 hours, during the day.  I'm scared........... scared of crazy things like her drinking cleaning fluid or a disgruntled family member shooting the place up (yes!! I have crazy mama thoughts sometimes).  Scared of me having less influence, less cuddles.  I'm feeling relief, too, though.  With them at paid care, I am free to pursue my goals.  To work, to contribute to society, to even join a gym, go to school.  Within the next 60 days, I am mandated to find a job or enroll full time in school.  But, it's mandatory that they are there a certain amount of hours until I figure it out.

J starts next week.  I haven't had time like this, since......... I guess, since I left Hubby.  He wasn't watching them, at that time.  But, since I was working, I was paying for care for me to go to my weekly meeting, my weekly therapy and my weekly bible study.  I've never had THIS much time.  And a lot of possibilities are running through my head.  I can go to daytime meetings, I can spend some time exercising, I can enroll in a Spanish program, I can work on my own business and search for clarity on what direction I need to pursue.  I can decide if I want to get a starbucks type job, right away, or wait.  There are so many decisions and opportunities.

Fear, change, hope.  Lots going on...........  And also, with this comes structure.  I am someone who likes to schedule my week.  I've lost so much coming here and one of the things is my schedule.  I sued to have so many intentional schedules, which have been dropped.  When J was a baby, I worked a full day for a stretch of time.  It was for a private client, but I think I was gone 8 hours +.  But, I had all these amazing schedules.  Before I went to work, I made our time SUPER intentional.  And that continued, no matter how much I was working, I took advantage of my time with the kids.  We didn't even own a tv at our old house, and that was intentional.  It was something we decided before we even got married, actually.  And at my moms, I've let everything slip and now tv (well netflix) is a constant.... almost every day and sometimes for hours.  As an aside, I think having hours of tv can be ok for an overwhelmed mama, but..... I'm not comfortable with the frequency right now.  It's not good.  Having the kids on a schedule excites me.  I'm ready to have all my high quality schedules again.  We wake up insanely early, so we have time for a LOT before drop off.

I feel very tired and rambly.  But, one last thought.  Hubby is going into recovery in high gear.  He understands that we are going to divorce.  He understands this so much to text me that he knows we have to end our previous marriage and if we get together again, it will have to be new and different.  Anyways......... I always get inspired when he does his part.  I want to do mine too.  And I'm inspired.  I'm tired, rambly, but still doing my journal.  And it's................. good.  Going to do a passage or two.  Then, I'm out.  I have a VERY busy day tomorrow.  With three different appointments, plus L's first day and J by herself, which never happens.  I don't think I've had time alone with her, possibly, ever since L was born.