Friday, May 28, 2010

Flash 55 Friday


It’s here! Never thought it
Would come!
Warm days, humidity haze
Sprinklers, pools, and bikes,
Sidewalk chalk, and starry nights.
Crickets, fireflies, amongst frogs peeping.
A campout in the yard.
Fireworks, watermelons, popsicles, and s’mores.
Running with the neighborhood pack,
Scooters, skates and trikes.
Baths and evening breezes.
Smelling like sunshine while
Drifting to sleep.

My two youngest help me write this. I asked them what things reminded them of summer. Of course I had enough to write a book by the time they were done, so I selected a few. Today was the last day of school for them. Tomorrow we are headed to the cottage for the weekend. Enjoy the sun, breath deeply, and love life! Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A little heartache for you...some issues for me.....

I had another "wild Wednesday" yesterday. An over packed and over booked middle of the week day. Just made it to my Women's meeting after working all day and my daughter having a late dentist appointment. So I arrived frazzled, hungry and tired. (I imagined what I would look like by now, a sober,serene, glowing complextioned woman who entered the room like a gentle breeze) lol! Not! I was just happy that I had put extra deodorant on yesterday and I'm sure half my eye liner was melted off by the time the meeting got under way. But what joy to walk into a room with all girl peeps, who smile and greet you. Right away as I took my seat I began to feel the pressures of the day melt away. Since this is a rather small meeting we all take turns saying something. Right away a woman who has been away at school started sharing. She just finished final exams, her marriage is strained, she had to kick her 23 year old son out of the house for using drugs, again, and she said she was just so grateful to be in the safety of those walls last night, to dump her baggage, to grasp a piece of sanity. Similar stories of problems, and difficult situations were shared by the other women. One woman said something that really struck home with me," I can come to the meetings, vent, laugh, cry and go home floating on cloud nine, and no sooner do I walk in the door than the usual crap happens". We all laughed but everyone knows that is all too true. Meetings center me, they ground me because I know when I leave and head for home I never know what new challenges are going to be waiting for me. I'm not sure what dillusional thinking I was using when I first came in. I magically thought my kids would stop fighting, that the clouds would part, the sun would forever shine and my husband would adore me to death. Yea right! I'm usually greeted at the back door by my two youngest who are tattling on each other, my kitchen looks like a bomb went off due to my fifteen year old's attempt at Italian cooking, and the dog has peed somewhere because no one paid any attention to his need to go outside. It's moments like this, when I plunk my purse down and drop my keys that I wish I could open up a bottle of those good AA meeting feelings and inhale deeply. But this is where the program really begins to work. On the homefront, the workfront, the every day to day front. So as my mind was racing at where to begin, I closed my eyes and said the first thing that came to mind,"God grant me..." this prayer has served me well so many times, and today was no exception. I kept my eyes closed for a few moments longer and when I opened them I found my two youngest staring at me. "Mommy just had to adjust her attitude a little", I smiled. And then my daughter said it,"I thought that's what you go to those meetings for!" I burst out laughing, and replied, "it is, it's just hard to make it last sometimes". So I got out my AA toolbox and got to work. The two youngest went to bed, my oldest helped me clean up the dog pee and the kitchen and I found myself humming a song before the day was done. Yep, how do you make it last? by working the steps, going to meetings and saying "God grant me........

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Growing up is hard to do........

I'm in a puzzling state right now. My emotions are in a flux, I feel out of sorts, like my skin doesn't fit just right. Then is dawned on me I'm experiencing growing pains. This feeling occured after last Friday night's stone throwing. When I said good-be to those personal defects of character. I woke up feeling great on Saturday morning and by Saturday evening I could tell that something had shifted inside me. Like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon I'm beginning to "bust out" of my old self. I'm starting to grow up. I've begun to see the subtle changes in myself. With our oldest son Alex I've started to set up boundaries, I've become the guide, the parent. I remember the day my sponsor said to me,"Of course you have a great relationship with your son, you're only two years older than him". What a revelation that was. I started drinking at 17 and I stayed there mentally. My life grew up by my "self" didn't. This of course changes the dynamics between Alex and myself but it's not too bad. When I receive emails from his teachers and there's an assignment missing, I text him the info. and leave it up to him to take care of. It's his high school career. I've also learned not to over ask or pry into personal issues too much. I just let him know I'm willing to listen if he needs to talk. I see relief in his face that I'm not trying to control or fix his life. With our middle son Sam, the growth is huge, both ways. He's changing so fast, from the little boy, to a fourth grader. He has a quest for knowledge, and is into Greek Mythology. I am learning to respect his urgency "to know" and try to provide ways for him to find out more about his interests. I've also started to let go and let him do many things for himself. As for our daughter Gracie, she too is changing so fast. More emotional, more drama, and I need to be more patient and understanding. My experience is with raising the boys so now I need to figure out a girl. I've also changed with my husband. I've begun to notice reactions that he has if we are arguing about something. He almost always takes the role of the victim, and the martyr, while trying to make me feel like I said something the wrong way so I'll say I'm sorry first. This used to be our pattern of fighting but not anymore. I won't by into his agenda. Only I can make myself feel something. This has thrown him a bit off balance but it's me putting my program to work. Walking the walk, not just talking the talk. This weekend will also be a big test for me. We will be going to my parents lake home for the weekend, along with my parent's, and one of my brothers and his family. I used to sit around many campfires and drink. Not anymore. Now I'm looking forward to rising early, taking the kayak out on the lake in the stillness of the morn, having my coffee and doing my daily readings, building sandcastles with the kids, hearing the loons, and the owl hoot at night. Growing up, growing pains. At 41 I've started to shed my skin. It's going to take a while to find out just who I am, to get adjusted to my "grown up" self. I don't regret that it's taken this long, I can't change the past. I can only make sure I don't repeat it, and I feel fortunate because I know there are people out there still suffering and those people may never get the chance to grow up.........

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Slip 'n Slide.....

Yes, we dug it out attached the hose and before you know it most of the neighborhood kids were over playing. It sometimes amazes me that a hose, and a sheet of slippery plastic can amuse small children for hours. So much laughing, slipping, falling, sliding backwards and pure fun. That's what a summer should be. I remember when I was their age and the summer days seemed 48 hours long. We were outside right after breakfast, had to be called in for lunch, road everywhere on our bikes, climbed up into the big fort and had to be dragged in for dinner and bedtime. One thing I do differently is let my children play until it's time to come in and then I feed them. I remember about three years ago over the fourth of July when my oldest brother remarked that holidays just didn't seem special. I said, "That's because you have to be a child to enjoy them, you look forward to them, they fill your days with celebration and they seem to last forever." We need to be more like children. Most of my adult life I've been preoccupied with the chores at hand. I get into this mentality that I can't have fun or I won't accomplish what needs to be done. I'm trying to catch this defect in myself and switch the behavior before it starts. When my children ask to do something and I'm ready to say "no" in a split second, I try to remember life from their point of view, and I generally say "yes". Life is simple at 7 and 9. Your life has some structure like school, homework, bedtime but for the most part it gets to unfold the way it should naturally. All too soon that gets set aside and more structure, more demands, more schedules creep into that life and before you know it you are an adult and all the sweet long sunny days of summer are a distant memory. I think back to where I was a year ago, so stressed out, stretched so thin, trying to keep up with this happy facade I had created so no one would guess how miserable I was. I was short, crabby with my kids, my husband and I were barely speaking. In otherwords I was just a unit going through the motions of life while being fueled by alcohol. Empty and just plain worn out. Today I am more adept to look at things from a different perspective. You don't need to take a drink to survive the busy time, the confusing times, the times you feel lost. You need to open up that box, dig out your tools for living and get down to work. I've heard more people at meetings lately say they are struggling with life on life's terms. Painful, sad stories. Yet life is just like that slip 'n slide. One minute you are up and running, and the next your flat on your stomach hurling to god knows what. But as I watched my children and their friends last night I realized they had the solution...when you fall down and get a face full of water and you come to a stop you simply need to get up and start running again. Looking at life through a child's eyes is something I need to do on a regular basis.........

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hot sticky Monday.....

It was very hard to get out of bed this morning. Our weather has been warm and is now hot. The dewpoint is higher than the humidity and it is near 90 so when you open the door to go outside you are immediatly assaulted with the heat. I have had a very bad headache off and on for three days. My sleep is restless and the constant throbbing in my head is driving me nuts. However there is an up side to this, at least this headache is natural not self-induced. It's nice to know I didn't create this one with drinking. Plus my flower gardens are exploding in this "greehouse" atmosphere. My children are in their last week of school, are already tan from playing outside and are looking forward to the holiday weekend. I remember those last few days of school each year. Just waiting for that bell to ring and release you into freedom for three months. I've been thinking a lot about patience lately, what is it, where do you get it, how long does it last? and I've come to the conclusion that patience comes as a result from working our program. When I'm at a meeting I sometimes speak but more often I listen. And all too often I hear people complaining that they don't have happiness, they're working the steps and yet they are miserable. This can get on your nerves after a while.(just being truthful) I want to say, "This isn't a complicated program, you just need to do the work." Then is dawned on me that what needs to happen before anyone is ready is to surrender completely. To come in knowing that you are hopeless over alcohol. You need to give up the hope that maybe someday you can drink like everyone else. That is not going to happen my friend, an alcoholic never has just one. But it's in that word surrender, to lay it all down, to cease fighting everything and everybody that change begins to happen. This isn't a part time program that you dabble in a few days a week. It's a 24/7 that you work every day no matter where you are. It has become a part of me, a piece of my soul that I carry every day. When I read the book by Christopher Kennedy Lawford "Moments of Clarity" I realized that it's in the moment of clarity everything becomes clear. Enough is enough. It's that split second in which the clouds part and you get that peek of tiny blue sky, and know that you will never be in this position again. I remember mine: My 15 year old came up to get his books, I was getting ice in my glass, he looked at me, looked at the Vodka bottle, grabbed his books and left the room. It was then that my moment of clarity came. I had this horrible realizations that every time my son would hear ice hitting a glass he would think of me making a drink. I knew right then and there that I was done. It was no longer worth it. One of the hardest decisions after your moment of clarity comes is waiting. Waiting for the fog to clear, waiting for change to occur, waiting to work through the steps one by one and not rush them. I hear people say: If I could have done all 12 steps in a day I would! But then the real growth is cheated, for in the quiet, patient time is God's will, his timing is always right. And slowly you do realize that their is a time and a purpose for everything. It requires patience. And faith in your HP. Staying in just this 24 hours requires patience, just staying in our business and not somebody else's is another lesson in waiting. I've started to slow down, to let things unfold, to take a breath and wait. For those who know me personally this is a very hard task for me. But I'm an undisciplined person and I need a lot of discipline in my program. Sometimes I need to remind myself why I surrendered in the first place and then I have to wait, for change comes quietly like a soft summer breeze stealing in through a window. If anyone would like to share their "moment of clarity" I would love to read it. Just a thought.......