taking a break….

Only from posting. Not sobriety.

I need to do some writing that is not appropriate for Withoutthewhine.

I will, however, continue to keep up with all you wonderful and supportive people.  You have given me strength…strength I didn’t know I had.

I have had some revelations in the last few days which I need to deeply explore.  All good but complex which leave me elated but confused…

Quite a bit of work comes with acknowledging addiction.

Mine has to do with “self” which became very confused as a young child.  As much work as I have done on myself (which is part of the problem..because it perpetuates the self) … the letting go, dying to, and moving on to an “other-oriented” form of relating has not come easy.

I’ve tried.

I’ve known what it should look like.

It just never came.

And I continued to blame myself.  Never cut myself a break. Relentless beatings.

I think I am finally discovering compassion  for myself.  The self pity is absent (for now). Thank God.

I would like to feel a connection (compassion) for those in front of me.  I would like to enter with them into who they are.  Their life, their experiences, their pain.

Not feel I am separate, apart from, below or above them.

Just one among them.

We all have terrible struggles. I am no different.

Pain.

 Why pain? I don’t know except that most of my life that is what I’ve experienced.

And it’s not so bad. Really. It has brought me be closer to Him.

One example I can give you is I have always been very private, unless I thought I knew you-and that was a very selective process on my part-one in many cases I was wrong-  so emotionally I would end up giving you details you shouldn’t be privy to.  I would put up walls with everyone else, even before I knew what was happening.  I’ve missed out.  How many people I’ve perceived as unworthy of me….or who I falsely perceived, in probably many cases, thought I was unworthy of them.

I’ve always thought I just couldn’t handle being with people for an extended period of time.

What I realized today is that my walls were draining me.  Are draining me.  It takes much more energy to hold back the connection than it does to let it flow.

I am afraid to let it flow- that is what I need explore.

When I can finally come to realize His love for me is insurmountable…even in this moment- just as I am with all my imperfections and flaws….only then in my coming to terms with this will I have the ability to pass it along.

Real love is a choice. Not an emotion. The willingness to set yourself aside to be fully present to another.

You can’t give what you haven’t received.

Please Lord, please help me receive.

And more important- help me to give to it away.

To find the balance.

march madness

Not talking basketball here.

I am certifiably crazy in March.  Every freakin’ March.  I can handle January and February but by March I am nuts.

And that is when I have a steady job and my teeth aren’t falling out of my head and blah..blah..blah.

So, since my divorce and stints on the psych ward in 2009 and 2010, I’ve had a 6 year reprieve.  Now the crapola hits the fan.  Started over Christmas.  And continues.

Struggling with thoughts.  With emotions.  Struggling with Him.

Just plain struggling.

To drink.  Or not to.

Doesn’t seem to make a difference….

But I know better.

It does.  It makes all the difference.

Not drinking is the key.  To get through all the mud and molasses.

And come out better on the “other side”.

Lent.

I feel as if I’m faced with a lifetime of failure.

But I know that is the dark side speaking to me in my time of weakness.

It’s all self-centered bullshit.

Pardon me, but there is no other word right for it.

Looking forward to the light.

Grateful.  Yes, grateful. To be sober.

In spite of myself.

Thanks be to God.

3/17…otherwise known as

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ya, well.  It’s never been one of my favs. Even in my most devout drinking days it was just a lackluster day.  I guess I could use that to my credit.  I would only go so far to find an excuse.

I do have a bit of Irish in me though.  I know by my temper which I think has gotten a little milder in the last few years however, I’ve been single so…..maybe not.

Still don’t feel like writing.

Just stopping by.

Celebrated St. P. Day by going to morning mass, work, the fabulous parish fish fry dinner and The Stations of the Cross.

I’ve been praying and asking for a lot this Lent.

Mostly to learn how to love.  For real.

Really love.

The way He loves.

You and me.

And to stop judging.

Myself and others.

Grateful and sober.

Thanks be to Him.

still here…

and still sober.

But I just can’t get myself to write.

Gainful employment opportunities (or lack of) have got me down.

There are none.

Trying to turn the question around from “What’s to become of me?” to “Who am I to become?”

On a more positive note:  the ambivalence is fading.  Feeling grateful.

Thankful to be sober another week.

Keeping faith and hope alive.

This past week

So what damage can 1 bottle of wine do?

Quite a bit.  Psychologically that is.

The ambivalence toward sobriety is back.  The battle is raging inside of me.  A battle that at just 41 days had been won…by staying sober.

41 days…double minded mess

This is the kind of wreckage that sets up chronic relapsing.

When I read that having a relapse is a part of the recovery process, my brain perverts that into permission.   Twisted thinking.

Praying for surrender and peace.

1 week without the wine.

Only by His grace.

struggle

No claiming of days here.

Anxiety has had its way.

Only the 3 D’s remain.

Disappointment, discouragement,  depression.

“My soul is a burden, bruised and bleeding.  It is tired of the man who carries it, but I find no place to set it down to rest.  Neither the charm of the countryside nor the sweet scents of a garden can soothe it.

It finds no peace in song or laughter, none in the company of friends at table or in the pleasures of love, none even in books or poetry….

Where can my heart find refuge from itself?

Where can I go, yet leave myself behind?”

St Augustine and Wally Lamb

I know where I can go and leave myself behind…but it never works.  As often as I think it might.

But thanks be to God…He never lets go of me.

so…about my friend

After I had moved back to my home state, I realized very quickly that I would not be able to do enough massage to sustain me.

I saw an ad in the paper (this was 1999) for a vitamin buyer (I had been into health for years) so I called.  Yes, this was before Monster.com and Indeed.com.

I have never had to find a job online.  These days are different.  Going through that now.

Help.  (gulp)  (double gulp)

My strong point has always been my handshake and eye contact.

So before I get off again, let me continue.

I had no idea how long the drive was to the natural food store where I was to meet with the manager… until I made it.  I was going that way for a Dr.s appointment anyway but kept telling myself- “This is too long a drive, forget it.”

Somehow, I kept feeling that I needed to at least go in to meet with him.  I argued back and forth with myself but that small, still voice won out.

I went in for the interview.  He had just taken over the position of manager.

I was his first hire.

He was a Jew-Bu (a jewish buddhist) who had recently been through a conversion of his own.

He had received Christ as the Messiah.

Without going through all the details of our friendship which would take 1000 pages to fill, I can say that this man has been a living saint.  Not just to me…I have witnessed his presence to others.

When I went through my divorce 6 years ago and had a couple of stints on the psych ward, I was so ashamed.  Probably because my dad was always ending up there and my identification with him led me to incredible despair.

He never was able to stay sober.

This man, this living angel brought me groceries for probably 3 months.  He gave me money.  He continued to call me and visit me when, I think honestly, I would have given up- I was in bad shape.

We have known and loved each other for all these years…in a brotherly and sisterly way, although he even offered to marry me at one point to take care of me.

 But something had changed deep within me when my husband and I divorced.  And I felt this man deserved a full and mutually satisfying love relationship in every sense.

For me, it would have been for all the wrong reasons.  I can’t speak for him.

For me, my issues of the past (and other markers He has left for me) just lead me to believe that I am His alone.

I have prayed for years that he meet someone who is as Godly as him…

and he has.

We’ve often talked of growing old together and taking care of one another.

So this is very hard.

There is the selfish part of me that is not happy at all…

but-

I am also overjoyed for my friend.

Because she sounds just like him….

An angel walking this earth.

Glad to be figuring this out sober.

Thanks be to God.