Blog Archives

Our First Priority Must Be Our Individual Recovery

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“Our first priority must be our individual recovery; only when we have succeeded in improving our self-esteem will we be able to be in a relationship truly by choice and not our of dependency.”  – Jennifer and Burt Schneider

Sex is not glue. It doesn’t keep people with us. We’ve often misunderstood sexuality and intimacy when we were active in our addictive process, because our addiction distorted our experiences.

Finding the way to real intimacy with ourselves, friends, a significant other, or our family is difficult. But we know that real intimacy is a connection that is natural.

It takes self-esteem to know that someone loves us for ourselves and wants to be with us just because we are who we are. There’s no way we can control our relationships, especially a relationship intimate enough to be sexual. We just have to let go, and trust. That’s true freedom.

 I am always a sexual being, whether I choose to express my sexuality or not. The energy and goodness of my sexuality are my unique gifts from God.

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My Tarot Card for December 25, 2008 ~ The 5 of Pentacles

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The Five of Pentacles card suggests that my power today lies in defiance. I am willing to reject the sure thing or accept excommunication to try to make it on my own, rather than endure the status quo or submit to conditions that assume I am invisible — in this, I have nothing to lose. I accept responsibility for the difficulties ahead and do not seek pity for having chosen to move against the grain. I am empowered by mutual support and my assets are self-worth, hope, and pride.

Getting Away From it All

“We yield, and we realize God has wrought something in us, and that the wings of our souls have learned to beat the upper air.” — Anonymous

Where is your “resting place”, that free space for nurturing and peace? As a child in kindergarten, like all of my classmates, I had a “resting mat.” Each day, for a period of forty-five minutes or so, my classmates and I took a little nap.

As an adult, my resting place is inside myself: a place where I live quietly, engaged in inarticulate creation.  I go to that silent space because I am safe there.  I find what I need to be replenished until I am ready to go into the world again.

For some, their resting places are primarily outside of themselves: the earth, the sea, the desert or the mountains.  It is called “getting away from it all,” but it’s really going to something needed as much as air and food.

We all will find a resting place in anything to which our heart calls us: music, writing in a journal, books on personal growth or spirituality or simply in solitude.  We all need sanctuary; time to be recreated; time to become reconnected to who we truly are.

Try Looking at Things in New and Different Ways

“If you look at life one way, there is always cause for alarm.”  –Elizabeth Bowen

A narrow view, especially one that is attached to an obsession, is going to produce a very partial perspective on life.  Many of us may have come to believe that everyone is always fantasizing, acting out, getting involved in some kind of sexual escapade and being miserable.  That’s the way the world is, but from just one point of view.  And it’s scary!

I’m learning how to reach out to others.  As I do, I see things differently, as if I put a different lens on my camera.  I get a new perspective.  I become an involved, caring, and committed person.  I didn’t know before how life could be so rich and give so much.  Now I see others as well as myself.

What made the difference?  Sanity.  When I stopped seeing others only from my crazy, addicted point of view, I returned to sobriety and love and sane behavior.  I am learning to look at things in new ways and to ask for help along the way.

Look Fear Right in its Face!

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the things I know I have gained through recovery and personal growth is that I have been given courage in the face of life’s darker realities. Now, I’m even more enthusiastic to offer my help to others in the face of addiction, depression, mental illness, physical illness and any other of life’s calamities. I know I can help, because I can say, “I’ve been there.” I’ve gone through so much, and I’ve come out of it on the other side. I understand the fear.

What a tremendous gift this can all be to others, given by those of us who understand the fear. Especially, for those facing their recovery issues after us. Our presence, our support, our unconditional love, and our non judgmental attitude are often what another suffering person needs. Our experiences as addicts, individuals challenged with mental illness – you name it – whatever other fear based dilemma we have faced, have given us an understanding and wisdom.

We have the perspective to be practical and realistic when necessary. We have the empathy to be compassionate. We have the strength and clarity to keep our boundaries in the face of another’s challenges and fears. My courage I am feeling at this moment is my personal growth and recovery in action. For that, may we all be grateful!

Procrastination is no Friend of Mine

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But yet, my life is riddled with procrastination. As a result, I have issues, dilemmas, unresolved business, projects gone uncompleted, money left uncollected, bills – many bills overdue and pushing me into bankruptcy, all because I procrastinate. My procrastination is a fear based reaction, or inaction if you will. You know, I can’t even bring myself to go to the mailbox at all to check the mail? I feel that so much doom and gloom is inside those envelopes, that I’m afraid to even get them out of the box. Christopher is the brave soul in our family that make the daily trek to the mailbox to bring home whatever news may be contained within those envelopes.

 

I have a legal issue hanging over my head, and I owe about $1500 in fines to the municipal court. No opportunity has been given for a payment plan, since I don’t have the money. The judge wants me to pick up trash along side Phoenix roadways and freeways, even parks. Given my health status, there’s no way that I would have the stamina to pull that one off as community service. Even with a note from my doctor indicating I wouldn’t be able to perform the duties of that particular community service, there is no other option. I have to go down to the courthouse and try and get on the judges court docket so that I can appear before the judge and plead for a payment plan. After my last visit to his honor’s courtroom, I’m afraid to face him again. It was one of the worst experiences I have had. If I don’t deal with this situation, and the fines go unpaid and sent to a collection agency, a warrant will go out for my arrest. Should that happen, my Social Security Disability Claim will go on hold, which will put a severe strain on Christopher and me financially. Once my fines are paid, it takes a lot of effort to get through all of the red tape to get my claim back on track. I’ve already had my driver’s license suspended, so I can’t drive.

 

The damn car is missing too, which makes matters worse. And quite honestly, I couldn’t tell you if it was stolen or towed. When the tags were taken after my citation for driving with a suspended registration and no financial responsibility (i.e. no car insurance), the car could have gotten towed at the last apartment we were renting, or it could very well have been stolen. We have never received any communication that the car has been towed, and of course even though I have had the phone number of the towing company, I never called to see if it was in their possession. I didn’t call the police either. To make this judge happy, and for him to believe that I’m not going to be driving around without insurance and a registration, I have to show proof that the car has been abandoned, or stolen. Just more “stuff” that I have to deal with.

 

For more than five years now I’d say, I have been aware that a company I formerly owned is owed about $300 in commissions by a small insurance company we used only once. It seems they lost track of us, and we show up on one of those “unclaimed funds” lists. Every year someone reminds me that my name showed up on the list. But do I deal with it? Of course not.

 

My procrastinating behavior is annoying to those close to me. It should. To them it seems as though nothing ever gets done. I find I work best from lists, and that my mood plays a significant role in my level of procrastination. Depression certainly plays a part, but so does my hypo manic or manic phases. I can be just too damned distracted to take care of business, or be just too “full of myself” on some days. There are days however, when I’m just too tired, or feeling too anxious about my health, the amount of time here or what it will be like for me to transition to clear enough space in my mind to think about making a list, or considering the priorities of that which is outstanding. I’d like to change completely, and be a person who has initiative, motivation and will power. I’m not sure it will be a lesson I master in this life time, but I shall certainly keep trying!