Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone. I am very excited for 5PM today. Some friends and I will be dressing up and going to the Annual NYC Village Parade this evening. It is always crazy and lots of fun. This year I am dressing up as a police officer. I bought my costume last night- its half home made, half store bought. Wow, its amazing to me how busy Halloween stores are the day before the holiday. People were actually waiting in line just to get it. Anyway, I am excited and I think it is going to be a lot of fun. I need a good fun night out with the girls. We will take lots of pictures I am sure.

Today I am grateful for:

Halloween with my friends
Beautifully warm falls days

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This seems to sum up everything I need to say today...

"Comes the Dawn"

After awhile you learn the subtle

Between holding a hand and chaining
a soul,

And you learn that love doesn't mean

And company doesn't mean security,

And you begin to learn that
kisses aren't contracts

And presents aren't promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With you head held up and your eyes open,
With the grace of woman, not the
grief of a child

And you learn to build all your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and
futures have
A way of falling down
in mid-flight.

After awhile you learn that even
Burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can

That you really are strong
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn.

-- Veronica Shoffstall
Today I am grateful for:
My home ACOA meeting
K3 sharing her lunch with me
Trusting HP

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I carved a pumpkin last night. (I am including some pictures) He is now a Jack-O-Lantern. And he is pretty darn cute. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years. It seems that everyone is always too busy now to get together. K2 and I originally planned on doing it... but it never seemed to happen. I almost didn't do it- trying not to feel resentful for the fact that our pumpkin date didn't work out. But hey, why waste a perfectly good pumpkin just because something didn't work out the way I want it to? Then, of course I was sort of afraid it would bring back memories of my childhood. Alas, it did not- actually it was oodles of fun. Last night me and my puppy (okay just me) carved a Jack-O-Lantern. I must admit Cami (my puppy) very much enjoyed eating up the pumpkin parts I dropped on the floor. Oh, and even more fun was 'Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin' was on and I painted a baby pumpkin and a gourd. Lastly... and best of all I made pumpkin seeds. Overall it was a good night and I just wanted to share because usually I am writing about things I am struggling with. Nice to feel my HP working.

Today I feel a little frustrated. Sometimes I wonder what my purpose is. Why am I here? What am I doing? It is very easy for me to look at my life and become frustrated. I am always looking at the negatives instead of focusing on the positives. I am 28 years old, single, living on my own in a job that I don't love, hanging out with my friends who do the same thing week in and week out. As I am writing this I am saying to myself, hey... I have a job that allows me to pay all of my bills and still save some money, I live completely on my own without any help from anyone else, I have friends that care about me, and I have the opportunity every day (with the help of my HP) to make choices that will make me happy.

I think in order to feel better about myself and my life I need to do something good for others without expecting anything in return. I volunteered today for two projects in my area. The first is a mural painting day at one of the local schools and the other is volunteering with kids in a single women's home for mothers getting back on their feet. This isn't the first time I have done this, but usually I cancel at the last minute for some lame reason. This time I really want to make the commitment to help others. Focusing on others helps me appreciate my own life.
I am also thinking about taking a figure drawing or painting class. I went to school for art. I have my degree in Fine Art with a concentration in Graphic Design. It is a very long story that at some point needs to be told, but I have since lost my passion for art. I feel like it is a part of me that I can no longer identify with and that makes me sad. I feel like I have blocked art from being a part of me because of fear and rejection, and I would like to try to rekindle my love for it. I used to be pretty good too. Well, so people tell me. I don't think I ever gave myself enough credit. If I did maybe I would still be doing it. I am saying these things out loud because I tend to have all these great plans and never follow through with them. One of the great joys of an Adult Child.

This time though... I am going to do it. What do I have to lose. Life is about finding what makes me happy. Just recently I have realized I have no idea what that even is.

Today I am grateful for:

My Jack-O-Lantern
Work being over in one hour
Every one's inspiring blog posts
Wanting to be better

Friday, October 24, 2008

All Things In Good Time

I feel sad and lonely today. Can't seem to shake it. I don't have any particular reason to feel this way... nothing specifically has happened in the last 24 hours to trigger these feelings. I think it started last night after I got home from my meeting. I usually feel great after my Thursday night home ACOA meeting. I am thinking that maybe it was triggered by the music I was listening to. I used to love 'Coldplay'- still do really. It was my longer than life ex and I's favorite band. After we broke up and he moved out I lost all the electronics in what I term "the divorce." Although we were not legally married, we lived together for four years and everything including our bank accounts (dumb move) were joint. For a long time afterward I couldn't even hear their music without bursting into tears. For awhile now I have been just fine hearing Coldplay's music... so yesterday afternoon one of my friends uploaded all the Coldplay albums to my Itunes and last night on my way home from the meeting I was listening to them. I think it put me into a funk. It still brings me right back there. It frustrates me because I really like the band, and I don't want longer than life ex to still effect my life. Maybe I just need to be gentle with myself. All things in good time.

It's funny too because when it brings me back there most of me is incredibly grateful that the relationship is over and that I have come so far. I also find it interesting that as time passes my mind hazes over all the bad stuff and seems to jump towards the good. Maybe that is called healing. I know longer miss him in the way of wanting to be together. He could come to me right now and say... I'm sober, I'm sorry, I'm a millionaire and I still wouldn't go back. One of my biggest problems is not giving myself a break. I think that when I try something I need to be perfect at it, and if I'm not than its just not worth it at all. This program is teaching me to be gentle with myself. Everyone makes mistakes... Progress, Not Perfection.
Today I am grateful for:

Sleeping late tomorrow morning
Spending time with friends tonight
my pretty new nail polish color
2 hours left of work

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poke My Eyes Out...

I have been so bored at work all week! I know I shouldn't complain because in these scary financial times I am lucky to even have a job... but sitting in front of the computer 5 days a week for 9 hours a day with nothing to do gets old very quickly. I actually think about sustaining an injury just to get out of the office. But then I always say to myself that if I am going to do that it has to be in the morning so I get to enjoy the entire 9 hours out of work. Problem being that I am not usually so bored in the mornings. It sets in around 2pm. And what good is that? I would only miss 3 hours of torture!

Now that I have my belly aching out of the way I would like to talk a little about my family. Something I haven't really done as of yet. The Original K, my 4 years younger sister lives with her husband in Germany- (Well actually I am the original K but who's really paying attention.) They are both going to grad school there and will be finished next year. OK has been living there for a few years now. She originally went her junior year of college to study and while there met her now husband in week 3 of the trip, living together in week 6, engaged in 12 months and married a little over a year now. I love him. He is wonderful. I love her. She is wonderful. BUT, she is just one ginormous stress ball. ALL of the time. Me, being the oldest growing up in an alcoholic family with a father who was often non-existent took on the role of Mom2 very early in life. Which has never really been relinquished- partly... well I suppose completely of my own accord. I still forget I have choices. I definitely set better boundaries now, but the truth of the matter is when our mom is unavailable they come to me. It would never cross their minds (I have a 9 year younger sister, L as well) to go to my father for anything. I believe I happily took on that role for many years because it fed my need of feeling wanted, important, being in control and needed. It is difficult now to see her so stressed and upset all of the time. Me, OK, L and my mom are all very close- mostly because we had to be. My father was never there, and even when he was he was drunk. He wanted nothing to do with us or my mom half the time so we became all that my mom had. We became all that any of us ever had. Friends come and go but mommy OK and L are forever.

My sister has a lot of health problems (nothing fatal but often chronic) and I can only begin to imagine the pain and frustration she must often feel. It is difficult enough to deal with life, its even more difficult to deal with life when you are always feeling crappy. I look at me just last week when I had a mere cold. Most of her healthy problems are related to allergies, asthma, intestinal issues (the lining of her intestine doesn't shed like everyone else's) and now we have just found out that her body produces an over abundance of yeast which they are afraid has spread to her intestines and stomach. Needless to say the day to day can be a bit challenging.

She called me yesterday very depressed. She has been more depressed and sad lately. And it is difficult to hear her and know that she is so far away. I know this sounds terrible, but sometimes I am thankful that she is far away because it makes it easier for me to set boundaries. I want to help her, but I also know that this is something she needs to figure out for herself. She gets so stressed over everything... even breathing. I have been struggling the last 2 days with wanting to fix things for her. She just recently found an ACOA meeting in Germany where she lives. I am so happy and encourage her to keep going even if she doesn't know why right now. Without taking her inventory I think that she is just beginning to see the effects of growing up in an alcoholic family have had on her and all of us- How unfortunately much of it has manifested in her physical well being. I feel that the more she stresses the more she gets sick and it turns into an endless cycle. I have this overwhelming need to act as her mom. This all get so huge here because my mom has been in and out of Alanon for quite a few years now and although she is currently going to meetings she has a good grasp on the program. As my mom has begun to recover, she has been able to set boundaries with us kids. In turn, OK has transferred the need for my mother to me in a lot of ways. For a long time I didn't know any better so I have enabled her to continue down this path. It scared me and worries me that by setting my own boundaries now that I will lose her.

Today I am trying to step back and realize that I can love her and support her, but I cant fix her. I still struggle with that. I can care for her, but not take care of her. I will say a prayer that her health problems are in God's hands and He knows whats best. At the same time it helps me to be grateful for all the good things in my own life.

Today I am grateful for:

My sister(s) and mom
My health
My ability to try to see the bigger picture
My home ACOA meeting tonight
My bed
Having a job to be bored at
Long distance phone calling
Small gestures

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Love Doesn't Mean Leaning

I am lazy about writing today. I think it's mostly because I cant decide on what I want to say... there seems to be so much too say. I didn't write yesterday because I was feverishly reading the last 200 pages in 'A Thousand Splendid Suns,' which is a beautifully sad and inspiring novel by Khaled Hoseinni. If you have not yet read it, I absolutely recommend it.

I would first like to say I had an uncomfortable experience last night at an Alanon meeting. It was only the second time I have been to this particular meeting and it is a Beginners meeting. There was a lovely woman who qualified and then it was a pitch meeting. The gentleman chairing the meeting never asked for a spiritual time keeper. The qualifier was then left to her own devices for timing/not timing herself... and after the meeting turned to a pitch. This left me feeling awkward and a bit uncomfortable. I always get nervous about being scolded for what would be considered cross talk so I did not speak up to suggest that there be a spiritual time keeper. One of the things I love about the 12 Step Program is it's format, and I had to work hard throughout the rest of the meeting not to be distracted essentially by the rules not being followed. Looking now I see that it was a great lesson in acceptance, but at the time I have to admit it stressed me a little bit.

Onto other news... It seems that most of my recovery comes in the form of my relationships... specifically romantic relationships. I believe this is the area I have the most trouble in. I have become fairly decent with setting boundaries with my family and I feel that I am now able to set healthy boundaries in regard to my father... but my romantic life has a direct correlation with my self image, my need to please and my need to be loved. I had dinner with K2 last night. What a wonderful evening. We went for Italian and sat in a comfy little corner at the back of the restaurant. The weather here is getting chilly and it was nice to be in a warm restaurant with good food, a glass of wine and great company. K2 and I always have a great time together. I am not naive enough to think of him as my other half, but in many way the comfortable space between the two of us is something I am really coming to appreciate more and more. I think this might be one of God's lessons in this situation. I am not sure that I have ever known real intimacy with a man. I have always been quick to use my feminine prowess to get what I want. T he physical connection has always become very important to me (and although I feel physically and sexually attracted to K2) it is nice that I am not able to use that as a form of intimacy. Does that make sense? I am not sure. When K2 and I started spending time together again we both decided that a physical relationship would not be healthy for either one of us at this point. There is some hand holding and a kiss hello and goodbye but there is no longer intense physical contact between us. At times this is difficult for me. I feel that because we are not sexually intimate he must not care about me, but I am beginning to see that the lack of physical is enabling us to have true real intimacy. Maybe tomorrow everything will change and we wont be together, but for right now I am trying to learn and understand myself through the interactions with K2. I never realized how strongly I counted on these behaviors until I started changing them. We are able to talk and laugh, really listen to what each other has to say. I sometimes still think that because he does not spend the night with me he doesn't care about me and he is abandoning me. But he keeps coming back, and we keep enjoying our time together. I pray the trust continues to grow and that I am able to let go of those fears... realizing love doesn't mean obsession and consumption. It means giving myself and the other person enough room to grow and blossom, it means taking care of myself, it means caring but not taking care of....

I see the same woman on the train almost every day... and every day I cant help but stare are her huge diamond ring. And as I stare at it, I think... that's never going to happen for me. And then I have to tell myself maybe it wont. But if it doesn't... God must have something even better planned for me.

God, please help me to trust you. Please help me to listen when you speak.

Today I am grateful for:
Dinner with K2 last night
Letting go
Every day is a new day
Not always knowing the answers... not usually knowing the answers
The sun
Movie night tonight
My pumpkin :)
The fact that I don't wake up in the morning wondering if today is the day I am going to die because of wars, bombs, sickness, beating. I am free to make choices and to live my life how I want... not under tyrannical rules that only bring hate and hurt to others.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Today... I Will Live In The Day

I had a nice weekend. The weather was chilly, but beautiful. It's funny to me how things work out if I just let go...

I am finally feeling better. Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and good vibes. Friday evening I decided to stay home and recuperate from my cold over the week. I was enjoying the quiet, laying on my couch with my puppy (I recently got cable and have been sort of enthralled for the last week or so) but at the same time was also looking forward to my Saturday evening plans with K1. God wanted to gently teach me a lesson in letting go. K1 called me Friday night to tell me that plans changed and he had to work Saturday night. It almost immediately put me into a tail spin. The thought of spending my entire weekend alone in my apartment almost got the better of me. It is actually a physical reaction... my body starts in on a panic attack. I stopped, took a few breathes and said to myself "K, just for today you will live in the day and not worry about tomorrow." I constantly tell myself One Day At A Time... but rarely listen to my own mantras. It worked by golly. I refused to allow myself to stress about tomorrow's plans. It made for a much more pleasant evening.

Best part was... I ended up getting together with K1 after all. We just switched things around a little and I was able to get all my laundry done on top of it. Score! I refused to make plans ahead of time and everything worked out just fine. I am one of those people that on Wednesday I am already making plans for the weekend because I am scared to death to be alone. I am learning that living one day at a time is a lot less stressful and a lot more fun. I am learning to trust God a little bit more every day. When I am constantly worrying about whats coming next I am missing out on what is in front of me.

I am also learning that my disease is never going to go away. The behaviors that took 28 years to manifest don't disappear over night. It is up to me to change the pattern. My initial reaction might be one of panic, stress and worry but I can choose trust, faith and hope in God. I am pretty sure that makes for a healthier happier life.

Today I am grateful for:

My mom
Living one day a time
A new way of life

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Days...

Happy Friday! Still not feeling great. I am having a good day today though. The weather is nice and I will get out of work at 4PM today. I don't have specific plans for the weekend, but tonight I plan to have a relaxing evening on my couch in front of the t.v. I sorta want to go shopping, but in these financial times I feel it would be rather irresponsible of me.

A little note about something I noticed about myself riding the subway home yesterday. I like feeling miserable. Okay, maybe I don't like it but it comes naturally to me. Sometimes when I am tired or not feeling well I begin to mistake those feelings for sadness and depression. I stop... and tell myself- Kris you're not sad- you are just feeling tired. Its funny how I get so used to something (even when its not a good something) that I just automatically revert to it.

Saturday I am hoping to enjoy the beautiful fall weather in NYC. Go Boston Red Sox and have a fabulous weekend.

Today I am grateful for:

openness and honesty
The weekend
Sleeping in

One Bad Apple

I didn't want to have to add the approve comments before posting feature, but it seems one bad apple can spoil the barrel.

Prayer Girl, I accidentally deleted your kind words while taking out the blogosphere garbage. I apologize.

My mommy always taught me... if you don't have something nice to say... don't say it at all.

Cheers and Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Busy as a Bee

Thank you everyone for your well wishes. It really means a lot to me. Its nice to feel others' love and support. I thought for sure I was feeling much better but alas I have hit a brick wall this afternoon... well maybe more like a mucus wall. I know disgusting. But very true. I seem to be at a crossroads of my mental health and my physical health today. I want badly to go to my ACOA home meeting tonight, but that little voice inside of me is saying it might be smarter to go home and rest. Hopefully the Tylenol I just took will set in and I will feel well enough to head to my meeting after work.

I have a lot going on right now. All kinds of things popping around in this head of mine. I really thank everyone who listens to me and I feel like I gain peace, strength, hope and love from all of you. I have my very own built in 24 hour support group.

As you know, I am not feeling well. When I am not feeling well my patience often runs a bit thin. I have been struggling the past few days with my co-worker, who also happens to be one of my best friends from college. I use the term best lightly... because as of late I have been reexamining what friendship is as a whole. Anyway, it is a very small office (4 people). K3, myself... who is also a K might I add, J and D. D is only in the office a few times a month and J is a very active alcoholic. **** This is a total side note, but have you all noticed how many K's are in my life? It's sorta bazaar. I wonder if there is any cool reasoning behind it.**** Back to point. In the past two days I have found it difficult to deal with K3. She gets stressed at work and tends to take it out on me. I remind myself that she is not doing it to me, she is just doing it. I am sure most of her attitude is her own stress. But its still irks me. It irks me because I let myself be upset by it and it irks me because I am too chicken to say anything to her about it. I don't want her to be mad at me, I don't want the work place to be uncomfortable, I am trying to use my words wisely and calmly instead of raging (quite frankly I'm not so good at it yet) and I know that part of the reason she does it is because we are friends and she is venting. That doesn't make it fair that I feel badly asking her to take a phone call- it is her job after all. I have a "don't shoot the messenger" attitude about it. This has happened before, and last time I handled the situation poorly. I am hoping that this go around I can handle the situation like an adult. I try to be understanding. J's drinking puts a lot of extra responsibility on all of us- particularly K3. It doesn't mean I should be the punching bag though. I am trying to detach and not make any harsh rash decisions. I am trying to understand that we are both not feeling well and I just need to be a little more patient. Whoa... I already feel better.

Okay, next on the list is K2. He came over last night to watch the debate with me. I made dinner and dessert. Apple Crisp! And it was Yummy with a capital Y. K2 brought vanilla ice cream. We had a nice night, and I am doing my very best not to over-analyze and over-think every darn thing. I get so caught up in my head before you know it no one is ever able to live up to my fantasy, including myself. It brought me to thinking about why as humans we feel the need to have an answer for everything. Life is all about the end point for so many of us... at least that's how I have always lived. I am trying to appreciate the journey right now. Today, the journey isn't so bad. Yay! That Tylenol is kicking in. :) Here is a little more background on the K2 situation. He is my mom's boyfriend (of three years who is four years sober) younger brother. We have known each other for about that long, and have been close friends for over a year. Last March we decided we like one another... we still like one another. But... his issues growing up in an alcoholic family and my alcoholic family sometime make it difficult to have a healthy relationship. We dated for five months and broke up in July. The break-up was awful. Some of my most painful darkest hours to date. We didn't speak for about a month and finally got together to talk. After talking we both decided to stay friendly... besides technically we are family and we have no choice. Anyway, we have been talking a few times a week and lately seeing each other at least one a week as well. We have talked about how the two of really care for one another and not seeing each other is awful... a relationship that does not make. He has a huge fear of commitment and I have a huge fear of abandonment. We have decided to just spend time together while working our own programs. This is often extremely painful and difficult, but I am praying to God that it is His will and not my own. I have learned some valuable lessons along this journey. I am learning that you do not have to be with someone everyday or talk to someone everyday in order for them to care about you or for you to care for them. I have always thought that love is obsession. That is certainly not the case. That's all I can really get out right now about the situation.

Lastly, I would like to say out loud (or out written) that I am praying to God about a sponsor. This is on God's time, but I am willing and ready to put the work and faith in to grow in this program. I don't really know how to go about the whole thing, but I figure offering it up to God is a heck of a good start.

Everyone, Have a great night and today I am grateful for:

My voice and my freedom
Comebacks- specifically the Boston Red Sox
My Higher Power

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sick Days...

I caught the cold that seems to be going around NYC. And that makes me grumpy! I am tired, not feeling well, achy and bored. All I want is my comfy couch.

I notice that I struggle with patience... having enough of it that is. When I am not feeling well I find it even more difficult. When I am not feeling well I find it easy to place blame with others. I feel like people are out to get me or annoy me. I tell myself they are not doing it to me, they are just doing it. That usually helps. This too shall pass and before I know I will be as good as new again.

Today I am grateful for:

The fact that I only have a cold and I will be better in no time.
My couch, bed and any other comfortable piece of furniture.
The day is 3/4's of the way over.
Tonight is the last debate.
K2 is coming over to hang out tonight.
My apple pies came out yummy!
My mom and sisters.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

Today I am trying my best to have an attitude of gratitude. I learned of an old friend's passing last night. It was someone who used to be like family to me, but have sense lost touch with. I feel sad, angry and grateful all at the same time.

This person is someone I spent a fair share of time with in my early 20's. He was older than me and I felt he was like a brother figure to me during that time in my life. I am the oldest of three girls... so having a positive male role model in my life was something I never fully appreciated until now. Because of family circumstances I had not spoken to this person in almost six years. There was never any specific animosity between us, but there is still much between our families.

I feel grateful today that I have my family with me and that we do not have to endure this horrible tragedy. Life truly is short and I must live everyday like it could be my last. I get so caught up with the small things in life, that often I forget to step back and appreciate all I have around me. How quickly I find fault in others or get upset over petty things. Just for today I want to appreciate with gratitude all the amazing things I have in my life.

On that note I would like to acknowledge something that I struggle with. In the ACOA Laundry list it states "ACOA’s become addicted to excitement and drama, which can give them their fix of adrenaline and the feeling of power which accompanies it. " This is difficult for me to admit, but I find myself wanting to get caught up in the drama surrounding my friend's death. It is so easy to want to stick myself in the middle of something that is really none of my business. I am praying to my HP for peace, acceptance and comfort for not only myself but for his family and friends. I need to acknowledge the tragedy and realize that I am powerless over it. The situation does not need to become a huge drama in my life today.

Today I am grateful for:

My life.
My family.
My HP watching over me and my loved ones.
Acceptance that just because something terrible happens, I can choose to see the good in it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Elephant In the Room

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. It was beautiful weather here in the Tri-state area. Sunny and seventies. I am going to soak up what sun there is left... pretty soon it will be dark by 5pm.

I had a difficult weekend. Good and bad all mixed up in one bag. I had some major slips this weekend that have left me feeling sad, guilty and shameful. I am doing my best to take the good with the bad. In the last few months I have been struggling with some of my relationships. Particularly my male relationships, and more specifically two male relationships. Both exes... I am not able to completely let go and I find myself feeling hurt, sad, frustrated, angry, guilty... I have noticed I have a difficult time letting go of anything- especially people.
So, K1 and I dated about a year ago for only a brief amount of time. After the relationship ended we decided to try to be friends. Which we have done, but not without complications- sexual tensions, inappropriate boundaries, and often what feels like relationship drama. I spoke with him about the nature of our relationship and how I feel it needs to change and he agreed. Yet, I find myself in a fight with him over some ridiculous conversation we had and now he is not speaking to me. It is so unhealthy. I can see that it is unhealthy. Yet I constantly go back for more. How many times must I go through this to realize that it is less painful to lose him than to be in this constant rat race. The best part is I find myself apologizing for a situation where I am not even sure what I have done wrong. Why can't I just let go?

K2 is just as bad, if not worst because I fell in love with him and thought we would be married. Now I find myself in a quasi relationship with him... meaning he has fears of commitment so we spend limited time together, usually when it is convenient for him. I am not fooled into thinking I am not part of the problem... I am just scared to death of the solution. I am so afraid of being abandoned that I will put up with ridiculous behavior just to avoid it. And usually that just pushes people away anyway. K2 and I really care for one another, but we are both the adult children of alcoholics. We both have our own severe commitment and abandonment issues. I never know when to detach, how much to detach, how much to let go... so we are constantly in this back and forth. I try to keep telling myself that we both need to work on getting ourselves healthy, but when do you draw the line with your own recovery and trying to mend your relationship together? I mean if I wait until I am healthy to be in a relationship I am going to be single forever.

It is very difficult and painful for me to talk about K2 and I. I usually stare at the blank page not knowing where to begin. I really truly have fallen in love with him, but I am struggling with so many of my own codependency issues that I am not entirely sure where loving him ends and enmeshment begins. I am working hard to set boundaries and to be patient and to not have any expectations but most days I feel like I am failing miserably. We are open and honest with each other about our feelings and our recovery. We both agree that not talking or spending time together is very painful. We also agree that we do not want to go back to the way things were, but at this point I feel like we are in some sort of stand still. And whether the change is good or bad, something needs to happen. I try to be sensitive to his commitment fears, but that doesn't mean never bringing them up. This leaves so many unanswered questions... and they sort of become the elephant in the room. I am afraid that if I bring up the subject I am not going to get the answers I want. I need to trust God and know that he has a plan for me. A better plan than I could ever imagine for myself.

So, what do I do? I know I need to pray... I need to let God take care of this because I am not doing a good job, but it is very difficult. I find myself torn in five directions every day. I want to feel better, but part of me likes this chaos I create for myself. Obviously I am getting something out of it or I wouldn't be doing it anymore. I just repeat... Let go and let God, Let go and let God.

Today I am grateful for:

Lobster dinner tonight
My family

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fairy Tale Endings

I love my Thursday night ACOA meeting. I always feel connected to the group and I continue to appreciate the diversity it brings. I am also thankful for the fact that the group has many men and women similar age as me. I am constantly hopeful and grateful to hear about members who have been married for years and have found, through Alanon, a sense of happiness with themselves and their significant others...

But, it is also nice to hear other twenty-somethings like myself struggling to balance life, dating, and pondering the question "Is there someone out there for me?" One of my deepest fears is being alone. My qualifier, who is my father constantly left us growing up. He traveled for work often, and had a tendency to disappear for days and for what felt like weeks at a time. I had a wonderful mother who tried her best to make up for the disappearance of my father, but unfortunately the damage had already been done. I am so scared that I am going to die old and alone. I am also scared that the only way I will be able to be with someone is if I give myself one hundred and ten percent. I do not want to continue to lose myself in someone else. I know my HP has a plan for me and it is the best plan possible, but sometimes I lack faith. I want to find the man of my dreams (here in lies the problem) He is just that... my dream. Which means lacking reality- get married, have children, live in the perfect house... happily after. Again with the fantasy.

Growing up I didn't always understand or realize the effect my dad's absence had on me. My mom was always covering up and compensating for where my father lacked. As I get older and healthier I am beginning to see that my mom's behaviors created similar behaviors in me. I pray on a daily basis that I do not hold these behaviors against either of them. I know they did the best they could with what they had. I am trying to understand these behaviors in order to correct them and do things differently now.

My mom created a huge sense of codependency in me. In ways I am only beginning to understand. It is now time for me to accept my part in this situation... and begin to learn how to change the patterns that were so prevalent in my family of origin. I have no clever words, phrases, or funny antic dotes. I have me, turning myself over to my HP and The 12 Step Program.

So, maybe that fairy tale happy ending is possible... just not in its original form.

My goal for today is trust my HP and have faith that He has a plan for me- A much better plan than I could ever think of.

Today I am grateful for:

Another beautiful day
The Boston Red Sox
Apple picking tomorrow
My job
My HP perfect plan for me

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Miracles on 59th Street

I was reading my daily devotion in "One Day At A Time In Alanon" this morning and the concept of miracles absolutely struck me. I am so quick to accept and expect others miracles as my own. I had to read the page four times to let it all sink in.

"One Day..." states that our alcoholic finding sobriety is absolutely a miracle, but not my miracle. What an astounding concept. I am always so quick to take everything so personally, which is actually a form of control. I feel blessed that my qualifiers no longer live in the same home as me and I am not directly effected by their drinking anymore, but I find myself in a relationship with an Adult Child and we often assume many of the same qualities of an active alcoholic. I found that replacing the word "alcoholic" with the word "adult child" helped me today to realize that I do not have the right to accept his recovery for my own. The only person's recovery I am responsible for is me.

What an empowering concept. One that takes a lot of pressure off of me and allows me to focus on myself and look at my own recovery. Alanon will help me make something of my own life. I am not responsible for the adult child's recovery.

Today's Reminder:

"The adult child member, however close to me, is the concern of his friends in ACOA. He must be left free to follow the program in his own way. If I am truly grateful, I will keep hands off."

What an important reminder. I am so quick to always be thinking about others. I must try one day at a time to keep the focus on myself and my relationship with my HP.

Today I am grateful for:

The beautiful weather her in the NE
My home meeting this evening
Trusting- Well trying to trust.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recycling Is Not Relapsing

I had a breakthrough this past weekend. It all started on Thursday evening at my home meeting. I was sharing on awareness and how I feel stuck in seeing the problem but not being able to take action. After I shared I heard someone speak of "The Three A's" in Alanon. Awareness, Acceptance, Action. I soon realized the reason no action was able to occur was because I haven't been doing a whole lot of accepting. Something I find myself only intermittently good at.

On my subway ride home my HP thought a lesson in acceptance would be humbling and important for me. I left my meeting a touch early to meet a friend and was feeling a little anxious over getting there on time. We were about to pull into the station when the train stopped completely. I waited just outside the station for close to 30 minutes. Boy, was I upset at first. I couldn't quite understand why on the one evening I had to be somewhere the train was not working properly. I sat back, said the Serenity Prayer a few times and accepted the fact that there was nothing I could do and that my friend would be okay without me for a few minutes.

What a huge lesson and blessing for me. I truly believe that it gave me the acceptance and power I needed to make a big decision for myself over this past weekend. I have been struggling with a relationship in my life for the past months... but very specifically the past few weeks. I know that it is not healthy for me, but was having difficulty letting go and accepting that it cant stay the way it has been. I had the courage to set boundaries this weekend and explain to the person that things need to change and I refuse to go on with how things have been.

Which brings me to recycling not relapsing. I have been doing a lot of recovery reading lately and I often feel like I am taking one step forward and two steps back. I found a different perspective yesterday. taking one step back is perfectly normal and necessary to help me see where I don't want to go again. Relapse is defined as a slip, or to fall back into a former condition... but to recycle means to recover or to pass through again for a checking or treating. Hearing those words gave me faith that my struggles are not in vain and they are just one important part of my recovery. Sometimes it takes more than one try before I get things right. I have been fighting the fear of letting go, of giving in and seeing that change isn't always bad. Parts of me want to run back to how they used to be... but how they used to be isn't always good, its just what I know. I am realizing that I need to feel the fear, loneliness, anxiety and own it before I can truly move forward.

Today I am grateful for:
Alanon and ACOA
Awareness, Acceptance, Action
Trusting myself and my HP in the decisions I make
Recycling... it does a body good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Light Bulb Moment

I rediscovered Alanon a little over two months ago. Some people have that light bulb moment of awareness when they realize that their lives have been affected by alchololism. I feel that I have known my whole life that I was affected and continue to be affected by the disease. I first came to Alanon as a teen. I participated in Alateen, but never grasped the full understanding of the program. It wasnt until very recently that I finally had the light bulb moment... like the sun rising out of a black sky.

I found myself at 28 years old in another failed relationship, a mediocre job and a social life revolving around the next night out or party. I decided to start living through the pain that I have been trying so hard to cover up. Life is hard, but its better than not living at all. I have no idea what I want in life. I have never actually taken the time to figure that out, but through this program I am beginning to learn what I don't want. Piece by piece... one imperfect day at a time.

I have been inspired by the people I have met and have read about over the past months. I hope and pray that through meetings, keeping this journal and my HP that one day at a time I will continue to discover me.