Thursday, February 16, 2012

Flash 55 Friday


It's not the chocolates,
the flowers, or the cards
No gold crown store will
ever get rich on us,
No romantic dinners or candles,
and Victoria's secrets
But the scraping of the windshield, the
warming of my car, cleaning up the dishes,
while I take a long bath, these
are Valentines that last and last.....

It's not that I'm not a romantic but I appreiate the little things now. While people at work were receiving boquets of flowers, or munching on chocolates I was treated to my car windshield being scraped, the interior warmed, dishes cleaned up after dinner, and an opportunity to take a long uninterrupted bath...these are the thoughtful things we do for those we love, on a daily basis, not just once a year. Sweet! Have a great weekend.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I love books. It's true, besides alcohol I can say books are another addiction of mine. I am pretty sure I came out of the womb reading because I can't remember a time when I couldn't. I'm like some wired nutcase in a bookstore. I love the colors, the titles, the shapes. Good thing I never seem to have a lot of extra money or I would go wild and keep buying books.

To counter my ever growing library my husband and oldest child thought a Nook Tablet would be a great place for me to store my books. However it just gave me another resource for reading and I am often reading one physical book and one Nook book at the same time. So imagine my utter devestation when I found out our oldest child had Dyslexia. I remember being so confused that the child could draw, and create, and build enormous Lego creations but couldn't read simple books.

He struggled for years, we took out a loan and sent him for special tutoring. It wasn't until he was in the sixth grade and a teacher told us that he spelled phonetically that we began to sense there was something else going on. Sure enough, he had Dyslexia. He was missing an entire area of "bank words". Words that all of us know and tuck away. His grades and self-esteem were struggling. He had to see a psychiatrist. I was devestated. How could my child not have my love of the written word?

(Are you catching all the I's?) Well he had a lot more tutoring after that and today he is planning to go to college. He's taking AP courses, could have graduated a semester early and has a 3.9 GPA. In other words he's just fine. So it shouldn't have come as a surprise that his younger brother and sister would also struggle with the same learning disability. Our middle son has just a touch but with regular tutoring he stays on track. Our daughter is a different story.

She has some ADD along with her Dyslexia. But where her older brother could grasp and move on, she works at a much different place. This made me frustrated. She gets tutored a lot. Like five days a week. Her progress at times is very slow. And then in the next breath, she's brilliant. A puzzle for sure. So a few days ago I headed to a conference with her reading specialist. I knew what to expect, I knew what was going to be said, part of me didn't even want to go. But as usual my HP has bigger plans than me. I went, I shut my mouth, and I listened. I came away for once wondering what I could do. Really do....

The answer came in a book I am currently reading. "Unwasted" by Sacha Scoblic is a great book about one woman's journey into sobriety. The author is funny, candid, and not afraid of the truth. And truth is just what she handed me. She was talking about trading one addiction for another. Something I know I'm partial to. Hers was spending instead of drinking. How did she finally kick this habit? By realizing that she wasn't entitled to a lifestyle she thought she was, and she started to accept the life she had.

Bingo! At that moment my whole thought process shifted. I had been so wrapped up in what I thought I was entitled to. A lifestyle without issues, good children with great grades, high achievers, kids that didn't need tutoring, and on and on. How humbling to realize that it wasn't about me. It's about them. My role is to throw out what I thought I was entitled to and to start focusing on what was in the here and now.

Since then I've stepped up to the plate. I've started researching what I can do to help her learn the way she needs to learn. I work with her an extra hour each night. The progress is slow but she's doing fine. She needs me to give her every tool to succeed. I can do that by setting my agenda down. I'm not entitled to a perfect life. I have been given the ability to help her succeed, and I need to use that to be there for her.

I needed this lesson. By laying down what I thought I was entitled to I was able to focus on what I've been given. Which are wonderfully, talented, creative, beautiful children who simply learn differently than others. I needed a dose of humility, and I found it in a book about recovery. How awesome is that.....(like I needed another reason to buy more books ;-)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The "oneness" of sobriety,,,,

I've heard it said at meetings that alcoholism is a selfish disease. Selfish when active and selfish in recovery. Even though the program is a "we" the alcoholic stands alone in the fact that only he or she can become sober. No one else can do it for you. No one can wish it, push it, work your program, make the changes, its all up to the individual. You have to stand in front of the mirror and own that person. With all its baggage. You!

Its hard to be a "one" in a sea of so many. Especailly when you cross over the bridge. At one time you were standing on that cliff, but you started out, you began to leave the others, the more you went forward, the farther back they stayed. Before you knew it, you were across the bridge and standing on the other side. No matter how good you felt, you couldn't bring anyone with you. I'm refering to the February 12th. reading in Melody Beattie's "Language of Letting Go". I have read this reading many times. It reminds me from where I came, where I am now, and exactly what I can do.

It used to upset me. "You mean I can't bring everyone over with me?", "but I want everyone to experience the other side!" I was always a saver. I brought home many stray people, whose family was broken, who had an addiction, who just needed someone I was going to save them all. Funny, all I usually did was break my own heart. I always offered this help wether they asked or not. I'm sure most people were not happy with my ignorant intentions. It wasn't until my sponsor taught me a very important lesson. "The only person you are capable of saving is yourself". At one time I wasn't even sure this was possible. But it comes down to one simple thing: choice.

I chose to save myself. I was saddened when I heard of Whitney Houston's passing, but I wasn't surprised. When I graduated in 1987 Whitney was just beginning to hit her peak. I loved her voice, I loved her look. I still sing to "I Want to Dance With Somebody". However when I started parenthood, college, workforce, etc. I only heard bits and pieces of her life. The abuse both physical, and drug and alcohol, the loss of her once beautiful voice. The Whitney I now saw, was not the Whitney I had adored. She was now ruled by a greater force: addiction. No matter what you feel about her passing the truth of reality is that she had a choice. The choice to face her demons or let them destory her. We know what she chose.

This choice can be a lonely one to make. It requires focusing only on what it takes to keep yourself sober. The people that you have hurt, and are waiting for apologies, and living ammends have to sometimes wait, and be patient, while the alcoholic gets their life together. Yes, this is unfair. I had wanted to fix it all in one year, but in many areas of my life, I'm only beginning. It's God's time not mine. My agenda has little to do with it. But I had a choice, you have a choice. No one ever poured a drink down my throat. I did it all myself. Regardless if life seems to big to cope with you still have a choice. I am grateful I chose well. You can cheer others on still left behind, you encourage them to come over the bridge, you can be so happy when they do but you can't carry it for them.

The "oneness" of sobriety seems to be daunting unto itself. But its necessary. You need to know that you can make it. That you have the ability along with your HP to walk across the bridge. You have the ability to make the right choice.....