Rejection

One of my biggest fears in life has always been rejection.  It made me hesitant when approaching anything new because I was afraid, no…I was sure, that I would be rejected and thereby embarrassed.  I’m sure that the reasons have a lot to do with me being an introvert coupled with my upbringing.  Whatever.  I’ve reached a point in my recovery where I’ve realized that looking backward is going to cause me to crash into the car in front of me that just stopped short.  In other words, it’s not worth the risk.

I’m learning that it’s not all about me.  How ridiculous for me to think that when I approach someone, their first thought is about me!  I have no idea what is going on in their head or in their lives.  They may be thinking, “Hmmm…well she could stand to lose a few pounds,” OR they may be thinking, “Wow, what a confident beautiful woman she appears to be.”  More likely they are thinking, “I forgot to make Vicki’s lunch today, I hope she has enough money to buy lunch,” OR “I hope he calls me today and asks me out.”

For this reason, I’m trying to stop reading things into situations that may or may not be there.  I’m trying to take people at face value and assume that everyone is coming from a place of kindness and if they aren’t? Well that not really my fault now is it?  Nope…that’s something that has been building and growing for years.
BUT (you knew there was a “but” didn’t you), old habits die hard and these are deeply ingrained in my psyche.  So when Blog Nation sent me a rejection notice the other day, I felt the sting of rejection and my face reddened from embarrassment.  What’s wrong with ME?  What’s wrong with my blog?

So I read back over the email.  First of all, the subject line was, “Your Blog Has Been Removed from Blog Nation”.  Ouch.  Then I ready the email…

The editors at Blog Nation have removed Oh For The Love of…Me from Blog Nation. The blog did not meet our content guidelines, as outlined on our Frequently Asked Questions page. Possible reasons might include a broken URL, a site written in a foreign language, a site without posts, etc.  If you feel that this was a mistake on our end, please do not hesitate to contact us.
So I went to the FAQ page, to see what was wrong with me.  Why don’t you want me?  (Notice the use of the word “me”.)
Guess what?  The only reason I could find was that they don’t like blogs with “excessive use of profanity”.
Well fuck me naked….THAT’s it?
My “excessive profanity” is part of my charm.  I am not foul mouthed in my day to day life but damn it all to hell it sure is fun to come out here and say all the things I want to say in the way I want to say it.
So adios Blog Nation.  Like some couples after a first date, we’re just not right for each other and that’s okay.  I wish you the best.  Ciao!
It’s good to know that I’m learning not to let what other people may or may not think of me drive me batshit crazy.  So here it is…I know you’ve been waiting for it…without further ado…(drum roll please)…
Fuck you Blog Nation and the horse you rode in on….
Namaste

Wise Thoughts

Furtherton over at Guitars and Life, who is a very wise man and always has some really great comments, left one of those comments on my post Moving On.  Basically, he said that if we don’t try and move on then the evil wins (I’m paraphrasing…sorry).  He’s right.

My son has a teacher who, every morning when his son wakes up, says to him, “Don’t let anyone take your happy today.”  He’s right too.

And the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying, “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”  He’s often right as well.

So I’m going to move on and try to get my happy back and rediscover my inner peace.

Because, no matter what else I do in my life, I will not let that bastard win.

Namaste

Live From New York…

This morning was filled with promise for a wonderful day.

Then I walked into my meeting room and discovered that, over the weekend, someone had shattered the glass door.

Not good – lots of shuffling and confusion to get everyone rescheduled and moved to a different room.  Plus I cut my finger trying to brush off what I thought was sugar and what turned out to be glass slivers.  Ouch!

You know what is also not good?  Being in a new job, working with new people, and learning whose ass I should be kissing and who I can tell to go pound sand.  Oh – and not having any credibility with people – that is also not good.  People around here don’t know me from Adam (who IS Adam anyway?) and it doesn’t feel very good.  I’m used to not only having credibility but wielding power.  Today someone had to step in and wield her power and I felt…to use a phrase from my blogger friend over at The Act of Returning to Normal…inadequate.

And I didn’t like it.  Not one little bit.

And what did I do?  I got defensive with her when she tried to explain how it’s done here.  Yeah…um…how’s THAT working for ya Sherry?  Of course it was a nanosecond AND I apologized but I hated that I felt that way.  It tells me I still have a stupid ego that doesn’t know when to shut her stupid mouth.  Sigh…

So tonight I’ll leave here and put on my walking shoes and check out New York a little bit.  Then I’ll grab something to eat, go back to the room and watch Castle.  I’ll suck on some cough drops to help my scratchy throat and take some Excedrin for this headache that is threatening to turn into a migraine.  Then I’ll get a good night’s sleep.

And tomorrow will be a better day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear God –

Could you please help me to shut the hell up, to think before I speak and to not take things so personally?  Also, when I do put my foot in my mouth, would you help me to LET IT GO once I’ve made amends?

That would be really, really good.

Thanks,
Sherry
AKA SoberMomRocks

Namaste

Sunday’s With Jenny

Ahem…drum roll please….

3.6 pounds!

Finally!  A real week of real weight loss!  I am right on track with where I wanted to be after four weeks on the program.  I am down almost nine pounds.  Just a kiss over two pounds per week.  Slow, healthy, right on track.

I was prepared to give it up and stop wasting my money.  I had decided that if, after six weeks (because you have to give any new fitness plan/healthy eating plan at least six weeks) I was still losing only one pound per week, that I was going to give up on Jenny.

The primary catalyst for this is that I am not very comfortable ingesting all of these chemicals and sodium.  Prepackaged food of any kind is chock full of this crap no matter how you slice it.  However, I knew I needed someone else to be in control for at least a little while because I have this little problem with moderation.  I also knew I needed to go on “auto-pilot” in order to stop obsessing about food the way I used to obsess about wine. 

You know how it goes…”What do I eat when?”  “What’s a real portion size?”  “How many calories in THAT?”  “How much cardio do I need to burn that?”  Ugh!  That’s the obsessive thinking that put food first and foremost in my head and, no matter what, I knew for a fact that it had to stop.

The plan was, and still is, to get this weight off by any means necessary because that’s going to do more good for my health than the chemicals and sodium will do bad in the short term.  That’s the plan anyway.  For now I’m still giving it six weeks and then we’ll reevaluate.

But today…I’m very, very happy.

My counselor was surprised and a little suspicious (she reminds me of a drug and alcohol counselor because they too have a bullshit meter that is very sensitive).  She asked me if I did anything differently this week to which I replied no.  Which was the truth…kinda sorta.

Something did change last week but it’s not really easy to explain.  Last week I didn’t have food on my mind except at mealtimes (which I’ve heard is how normal people behave).  I also ate only the Jenny food.  I didn’t supplement or add anything extra with the exception of a banana or apple here and there.  The program did exactly what I wanted it to do – it made eating boring (for the most part) and so it stopped being an “event”.  I also stopped “planning” every meal and just grabbed what I felt like eating in the moment.  That also took the focus away from food and placed it on sustenance.

On that front…mission accomplished.  We’ll see how I feel about all of this in the coming week.  I’m taking this sucker not one day at a time but one week at a time (because I only weigh myself at my Jenny appointments – my scale and I are not only separated, the divorce is final).

Now, to my wonderful and supportive friends and colleagues who read this blog and know me in real life. Put this out of your mind and relax.  Win or lose – I got this.

Namaste

Feeling and Dealing

My dog Pepper.  He teaches me a lot about how to deal…he’s cool like that.

I am irritated, aggravated and carrying around a fairly short fuse lately and I have no flipping idea why.  I’ve also been a little weepy.  If I were a younger woman, I’d say this was a PMS thing because that’s exactly what it feels like.  But I’m not a younger woman and I no longer deal with that crap (yay!).   So…um…that’s not it.  Shit.

Still, things are getting on my nerves that don’t normally bother me.  I’m having to bite my tongue and remind myself to mind my own beeswax and stay in my own lane (choose one or all cliches).  And I’m letting my feelings get hurt when there’s no real reason for it.

So it’s established…I’m in bitch mode.  Nothing new there.  But how I deal with it…that’s a different story.

It still consistently amazes me how self-aware I am now.  I actually sat down at my desk this morning and took a minute to examine how I was feeling.  Seriously?  WTF is that?  Believe me when I say that while I will spend all dang day trying to get to the root of your feelings, I have never been one to spend a second worrying about where mine were coming from.  Why bother?  Just stuff ’em down and move on…and if things get too hairy…self medicate.

Hmmm…how’s that working for ya?

So now I’m trying to really feel the feelings and ask myself, “Self…what is the root cause of this feeling?”

Seriously – that’s how I talk to myself.

Or I’ll ask God.  “Hey Dude (notice the capital D) – WTF?  What is going on and what do I need to do about it?  Better yet Big Guy (again…capitals) – what would you have me do about it?”

And yes – I really do talk to God that way.  We’re tight…known Him my whole life.

And sometimes I am able to figure it out in pretty short order.  Like today I think it all comes down to moving one of my anti-depressants back to the morning and the getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 every morning and working out (I mean really?  That alone is enough to piss anyone off.)  And the 60 hour work weeks with a co-worker not pulling their weight.  Yep…that’s probably it.

And the resulting, “What are you going to do about it” has changed as well.  I’m just going to ride this one out, exercise a little self care in the form of more sleep this weekend and some “me” time spent practicing yoga and meditation, spend some quality time with my daughter and her kids while they are visiting and just…be.

Now…how’s THAT working for ya?

Pretty damn good thank you very much.

Namaste’

Thanks and Praise

Today I am thankful and full of praise to God for:

The fact that my daughter and the grandkids are coming for a few days.  It seems like forever since I’ve seen them and I can’t wait.

That we’re going to see Magic Mike with some friends.  Don’t judge.

That my program is about half way through to completion and is going very well.

That my son is the computer wizard that he is and he’s able to help me with this program.

That I’m actually getting up at between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. every morning and working out.  Miracles do happen people.

That tomorrow is a holiday.

That I live in this wonderful country.

That I have a wonderful, loving family that knows the meaning of giving.

That I have a job that’s demanding but fulfilling and that I work with people I genuinely like.

That I’m good at what I do.

That I have a personal relationship with God.

That I’m back into yoga and meditation practice.  There’s a reason it’s called practice…because you’re never too far away to get back into it and you’re never to good to quit.  The path to enlightenment is always changing.

That, at this advanced age, I actually have days where I catch a glimpse of who I really am and I like it.  It doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s happening more often than it used to and that is progress.

Namaste’

Monday Musings on AA

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I’m doing in AA and what, if anything, I’m gaining…besides a place where I feel comfortable.  Is that all it has to be?  And why do I feel so comfortable there?  Is it because after hearing their stories I feel better than them because I wasn’t as “bad” (just keeping it real here), or is it just because, as I’ve said before, it’s the only place I’ve ever been that I don’t feel shame.

And, if I’m really keeping it real, I have to say I don’t feel as good about being in the program as I used to feel.  The more I go to meetings the more I wonder if AA is really for me.  I don’t think I’m giving it what I’m supposed to give it and therefore am probably not getting out of it what it was designed to give me.  Does that make any sense?  Who knows…

For example, I’m on the precipice of my fifth step and I’m not feeling any urgency about getting it done.  My sponsor has had to reschedule a few times and I’m not the least bit concerned.  I’m not worried about it or afraid of it (like I was the fourth step), in fact, I’m a little apathetic and that’s what has me worried.  I feel like I owe these people and myself more than just lip service. 

Another example…I haven’t chosen a home group.  I’ve done some reading in the meetings and I did the detox meeting but other than that, I haven’t done any real service work (Catholic guilt maybe?).  I’m down to one meeting a week.  My name isn’t even on anyone’s phone list.

Plus, when I’m in the meetings I always feel like I’m saying the wrong thing.  I get looks from the regulars and comments later that make me feel like I’m doing it “wrong”…like I’ve been around enough to know better.  I may have been sober for awhile but I’m just a baby in the program.  I’ve even been going to beginner’s meetings because they teach what the program is about and what the “rules” are.  The only problem has been in those meetings that they “call on you” (to make sure everyone interacts) and while I know I could pass I don’t and then I feel like I’ve said something wrong.

Maybe I’m just lazy and this is going to sound really, really, bad but I just don’t need anyone else in my life right now.  If I put my name on the phone list then someone is going to call me – I HATE talking on the phone and AA people live by the phone…they have to…it’s how they survive…it’s a life line and one I know would be available to me at a moments notice if I needed it.  But I don’t think I can give anymore of myself to anyone else right now.  All my life I have given myself away and taken care of everyone else.

Wow…maybe that’s it.  Maybe now I just want to take care of ME.  I’ve finally opened the door to taking care of myself and providing myself some much needed nurturing and I feel like if I immerse myself into this program the way I should, I’ll end up nurturing everyone else and just put myself on the back burner again.  And that back burner is what got me here in the first place.  Everyone talks about how selfish and self-centered alcoholics are.  For me it’s just the opposite.  I give and give and give until there is nothing left for me…then I turned to alcohol for my own nurturing.  I didn’t like me very much.

And now I’m beginning to like my own company.  I like quiet and solitude.  I like being alone with my thoughts…taking the time to write them down and figure them out and quite frankly, that’s all I have the capacity to do right now.  If I become a part of this organization the way I think I should (because with me it’s an all or nothing proposition) then I’m afraid I’ll have to abandon this journey that I’ve just started. 

And this journey is nothing short of a miracle for me.

So (and this is why I love to blog so much…I’ve come to the end of the post and I’ve decided what I’m going to do…I love being a girl), I am going to print this post and go over all these feelings with my sponsor (who just called in the middle of this post – is that a God moment or what?) and see what she recommends I do.  I’m just going to be me – honest and open – and tell her that if I reach out and really embrace the tenets of this program then I’m going to end up mothering the hell out of it and anyone who comes within 20 feet of me.  Right now it’s not what I need and it’s not what anyone else needs either.  These folks don’t need a mother, they need an AA partner.

Thank you God for my sobriety today and for this blog and for all those in the blogging community.  It has truly been a salvation to me.

Namaste people…namaste.

Memories on a Sunday Morning

I don’t usually post on weekends but something happened last night that I need to get down on “paper” so I can examine it and figure out how I feel about it.  That’s what this blog does for me, it lets me get my thoughts out so that I can turn them around…examine them…flip them upside down…and then figure out how I feel about them.  The length of the post is directly proportionate to the complexity of the subject matter.

Anyway, my boys are working the tech crew for their high school’s spring production of Guys and Dolls.  They’ve roped my husband in also and what this means is that, since opening night is this Thursday, I’m alone a lot this weekend.  It’s nice.  I’m enjoying the quiet and solitude.

When I was drinking I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the alone time during the day.  I hadn’t yet learned to be alone with my own thoughts so being by myself left me feeling discontent and restless.  The nights of course were a different story.  Being alone was exactly what I preferred because I could probably get an extra bottle in before they got home, drink a glass out of the next bottle so that it looked liked I just got started, and save the third bottle for after everyone went to bed.  I thought I was so slick…

So yesterday my husband got home about seven and the boys went with the rest of the crew to a local restaurant to enjoy some young adult bonding and have some dinner.  I’m sure they showed their ass but that’s what teens do.  Mine included…I always feel sorry for the wait staff.

About 10:30 they came bounding through the door with a group of friends in tow.  They were laughing and introducing kids and I was hugging it out (I’m a hugger) and asking if anyone wanted anything.  They hung around for awhile, were invited to breakfast this morning before they head off to school, and then they left.  My boys then spent the next hour and a half filling me in on all the hijinks’s that occurred during the day and by midnight I was pooped.

This morning as I jumped out of bed to shower and ask the hubs to go to the grocery store so we (he) could prepare breakfast for this group of heathen children (my pet name for my kids is heathens), it occurred to me – this could/would have never happened when I was drinking.  They would not have likely brought anyone home that late for fear of what condition I might be in and what I might do to embarrass them.  They would never have invited anyone over for breakfast this morning because they would have known that I would have had a hangover and not wanted company.  Thank you God for helping me to quit before they had to experience this….

And then I remembered…I remembered all the missed sleepovers and girl talk that could have occurred in my bedroom as a teen.  They never happened because I never knew in what condition my father would be.  I remembered that I never joined any after school activities because I knew I had to go straight home and check on him (I was the oldest…typical child of an alcoholic behavior).  I remembered walking on egg shells all of the time.  I remember being an adult way before I had any business being an adult.

And so as I was rushing around to shower and look presentable for this group of kids, I made sure to say a big THANK YOU to the Big Guy this morning for bringing me out of that hell and thereby sparing my children a repeat of my childhood.  I thank him for a clear head, and settled stomach and children who will never know the hell of being a teenager with a raging alcoholic for a parent.

Now pardon me while I set the table and help the hubs…these kids eat A LOT.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Happy Anniversary My Love

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the day I made the best decision of my life.  In spite of what my head told me to do, I followed my heart and went out with Mr. D for the first time.  I have never, for a single nanosecond, regretted that decision.  Even when he is on my last available nerve…I do not regret having dinner with him that night.

To clarify, this is not my wedding anniversary.  I seldom remember my actual wedding anniversary.  The hubs and I lived together for 10 years and had our oldest child before we were married.  The child was 6 months old when we decided he deserved married parents.  He was in all our wedding photos and is very proud of that fact.  I only asked that he not volunteer that information to the nuns when he was in Catholic school (that was my own Catholic upbringing kicking in)…other than that, I’m proud of it too.

But we started celebrating this anniversary while we were living together to mark time (and give us an excuse to go out and drink…let’s be real here) and it stuck.  So when we were left to choose which one to celebrate we chose this one.  It’s been that way ever since.

We were two old souls who had passed this way before and were finally blessed to find each other.  The rest was inevitable – it was God’s plan…the Universe complied…and I was smart enough to say yes.  Honestly there was no way that I could have turned him down – the pull was just too great.  I kept trying to stay away since I had just left my practice husband and he and wife #2 had just split but I literally couldn’t.  It was like a magnet to iron – a BIG, STRONG magnet and a HUGE piece of iron.  BAM!!!!  We were stuck.

All I can say today is that in those former lives I must have done something very, very good to have been blessed with this man.  He has taught me how to love unconditionally.  He has taught me to parent from a position of respect rather than power.  He has taught me that although love sometimes means saying you’re sorry (okay…I taught him that), it also means forgiveness is always there also.

The most important thing he has done is to teach me to trust.  I’m still learning that lesson.  He’s the one who could rip my heart to shreds and yet I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he would never do that.  That’s a very big deal in my world.

So happy anniversary Big Guy!  After 29 years you still rock my world.

“Listen to me, mister. You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t forget it.”  ~ On Golden Pond (1981)

There Are Some Good Memories

This is now…it’s changed quite a bit in 40+ years!

Last night when I was walking the dogs, the smell of honeysuckle floated in the air and I was immediately 8 years old again and living in the city.  Isn’t it funny how smells can do that?  I don’t think anything triggers a memory or an emotion for me more than a smell does.

We lived on a city block in an apartment.  The entire block was apartments with alley’s in the back and small parking lots in between every two buildings or so.  The clothes lines were in those parking lots and they were surrounded by chain link fences.  Someone had planted all kinds of flowers next to those fences so that you could no longer see the fences once Spring had sprung.  There were roses of all varieties and, in spite of the fact that I have never been able to grow them, they remain my favorite flower (as you have probably noticed).  Forsythia grew like weeds in that parking lot and for that reason, to this day I do not like them…to me they are weeds.  There were lilacs also…I love the smell of lilac.  And there were honeysuckles that we used to pinch the blossoms from and suck out the sweetness (when you could get past the bees).

No more chain link…no more flowers.

So I spent a few minutes back in that parking lot and thought, wow, not all my childhood memories are bad.  There are some good memories.  I had a pretty rough childhood.  Not as bad as some but by my mothering standards it was pretty bad.  There was never any physical abuse but you don’t have to hit a kid to royally screw them up – sometimes just opening your mouth (or not) will take care of that.

But, like most of us, it wasn’t ALL bad.  I made some great friends in that neighborhood.  There was a HUGE tree in the front yard that shaded the building in the spring and summer.  The grass didn’t grow under it because of the shade and also because us kids played there every day.  We played red rover, and freeze tag, and jump rope, and kickball and we ran our cars through roads we made by pushing dirt up into mounds and then carving roads in the mounds.

There were pine trees at the corner of each building that, for some reason, grew so that if you squeezed behind them right at the corner, there was a little space down low that made a great clubhouse.  And since there was one at every corner, each clubhouse “belonged” to a specific group of kids and you had to know the password to enter someone else space.

Across the street was vacant land through which ran a creek…well it was more of a stream.  Now I know that the land probably didn’t meet some guidelines for development because of that stream but for us, it was a vast wilderness that needed to be explored everyday…but only by the older kids…the younger ones weren’t allowed for fear they would wander off and thereby get us in trouble.

The creek is just beyond those bushes and small trees.

Since I lived in the Nation’s Capital, we would climb to the roof of our buildings on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks from downtown on The Mall.  Lawn chairs and coolers were on the roof and grills and watermelon stayed on the ground.  We would sit on the stoop and eat and then make the climb.  Believe me, for a kid that was the highlight of the year.  We didn’t care that much about the fireworks…we were on the ROOF!  For a long time I thought everyone got to see fireworks like that.

There was also a sidewalk out front that was great for hopscotch, bike riding and running to meet your dad when he got off the bus from work.  It was also where a yucky man “flashed” me when I was 7.  It was so stereotypical because he actually was wearing a raincoat in the middle of summer (hello police…didn’t you think that was odd?).  I found it necessary to tell him in my most indignant 7 year old voice that he wasn’t very nice before my girlfriend and I fled to the safety of my apartment.  I was, for the most part, an honest, outspoken and brave child…I believe I’m still all of those things.

The basements of all of the apartment buildings were connected and so it made a GREAT haunted house at halloween…or so I was told.  I was never allowed to go which really made me angry but my parents thought I was too young and they didn’t want me scarred…you’ve got to love the irony of that statement. 

We moved not long after the race riots that took place after Dr. King was murdered.  Race relations were tense then and I was a little white girl who was getting beat up on a regular basis because of it so we moved to the suburbs.  It was sad because I loved that neighborhood with all my heart.  My father had just begun to lose his eyesight (he had Retnitis Pigmentosa) so he was still working and his drinking had yet to get out of control.  My mom was a mess but I don’t think I realized it until I was much older.  I think in my mind that move divided my childhood.  Before the move things were good, after the move not so much.

Of course that wasn’t true and as an adult I know that in my head, but my heart holds it’s own memories.

So thank you honeysuckle bushes for reminding me that I do have good childhood memories and that going back and remembering them does not have to be painful.  Rather, it can be a pleasant and lovely experience that fills me with nostalgia and helps me remember a time when I felt loved.