What am I carrying…

I heard this story…

A psychologist walked around a classroom while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down. 

 

As I continue to work in step 4, I put the glass down that I’ve been carrying. Such a cool visual. 

Today is hard for my sons. They are struggling with the Dad they have and the Dad they wish they had. 

Just like I have, I pray one day they will be willing to accept him for who he is what he is capable of. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Checking in…

it’s been a busy week and I have not blogged.

Wanted to check in real quick and let you know I’m doing well. 

I’ve been digresting what I’ve written about so far for my Step 4 and working out the next situation I’m writing about. I’ve shared it with my sponsor.

Amazing how I see the connections now that I didn’t see before. How one situation led me to the next. 

One thing I’ll share with you is the impact one of my brothers had on me that I’ve carried with me my entire life. I don’t want to share the entire story but I will share that he told me for my entire life that I was found in a trash can and they felt sorry for me and took me home. For YEARS I was told this. While locigically I know this is not true, it changed something in me to where I have always felt alone, left out, different, not wanted and that people felt sorry for me. He used these words to control me. To put me down. To isolate me. Later in life, I have put myself in situations where I felt alone, isolated, different, not fitting in and where others put me down. 

Guess what? It’s official, it’s out in the open. Those words no longer have control. 

I know that’s it’s not true and it never was. I know that God loves me just how I am. I know my parents loved me and now that they have passed they know what he said and did to me. I spent my entire childhood protecting someone who was abusing me because I would be the one in trouble or that they would send me back to a family that didn’t want me to begin with. Even as an adult, he has been mean spirited, put me down and called me names. I had chosen not put myself in contact with him. Including not going to family events just to avoid him. However I know what to say to him now and while for right now I choose not to seek him out, I know our paths will cross at a family wedding or other event. 

That’s no longer mine and really never was. It’s done. Its in the light. And I have a plan of what to say to him. 

This week, I did get the tattoo I talked about last week and it’s a beautiful reminder to me and to who ever sees it. Looks a lot like what I drew and in that process, I did have the artist draw and redraw what I wanted because her first and second versions I didn’t like and would not have been happy with. 

  

Celebrate Recovery Meeting tonight, I’m sure I will have more to share later, as I always learn something. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Tight Rope Walker

Last night I shared at my Celebrate Revocery meeting that I have felt for a really long time that I am on a tight rope. 

There are boxes of all this stuff I carry with me. And I do my best everyday to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. But the rope never ends. And the boxes are heavy. And my arms are tired. I have to keep my balance while new boxes are added. I have to keep my head up because I’ve scared of heights. I have to just keep moving because if I stop, I just may fall apart and everything else with it. BUT…

 

what’s happened since I started step 4 is:

  1. The tight rope doesn’t have to feel like it’s over the Grand Canyon. It can be just off the ground. If fact it doesn’t have to be a tight rope at all. I can step off it and be on ground and feel secure in my footing. 
  2. I can put boxes down and not carry them any more as my heart heals and I talk about my past hurts, hang ups and habits.
  3. I don’t have to carry this alone and I wasn’t created by God to do so. ‘As iron sharpens iron, one person sharpens another’ Proverbs 27:17
  4. I can ask for help when I need it. And people help when they know you need it and when they know exactly what you need. 
  5. I can put down the boxes of things that I can not change. I’ve carried boxes that were not mine in an effort to control how someone would react or feel, I’ve helped someone avoid consequences and soften their fall and I have gotten involved in solving other people’s problems. 
  6. I can put down the boxes where I have no ownership, no part. Celebrate Recovery rewrote step 4 for those who have been sexually or physically abused….’Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, realizing all wrongs can be forgiven. renounce the lie that the abuse was our fault’
  7. I can sit and rest. I am weary. I can give God my burdens. Matthew 11:28-30 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Step 4

it’s not easy but wow oh wow the healing that happens during step 4 is A M A Z I N G. 

My journey to serenity continues…

New tattoo

I’ve been wanting a new tattoo for a while. I’ve had different ideas. All of them had the same basic meaning. Some with words, like a crossword some not. I’ve also wanted to get a semicolon to so I was looking for ideas and put this together. 

       Faith, Hope, Love, I choose to continue…

 

A semicolon is a popular tattoo the last couple of years. Do you know the meaning? A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to.

You see, I’m the author and the sentence is my life.

In my lifetime, I have battled denial, abuse, anxiety, depression, codependency and contemplated suicide. I want to remind myself and others the fact that because of faith, hope, love and wanting to continue I am growing and wanting to be a better person for God, for me and for my kids. 

My journey to serenity continues…

WhAt i LiKe AbOuT mE PaRt ii

A month ago, I was given an assignment from my sponsor to come up with 100 words that represented who I am. 

Yes, it took me a month to come up with the 100 words and I asked my friends for help and I used the thesaurus. But I chose words that really resonated with me and are to my core, who I am. 

This excercise has been really good for me while I started to work on step 4. Some positive self talk to balance the other self talk of working out situations from my past. Balance is key! 

So here is the funny thing, last year I did something similar with my ex boyfriend. I made a list of words written in pink that I put on a brick wall that I drew. This was good and bad words. There were some words that I didn’t want anyone to see so I used a sharpie and colored those bricks black. The title was Mar’s Wall Of Truth, Live in the Pink. 

This was done at the start of one of my ex’s binges and he was doing something like it but in writing. Here is the not so funny part, I met up with him  and showed him what I had done. He looked at it and pointed out the words I misspelled and questioned me about some of the other words I had chosen. I was crushed and hurt that this was how he chose to work on our relationship. His addiction was in full force and my codependency was in full swing and made excuses for his hurtful behavior. 

For a lot of people someone pointing out a spelling mistake may not be a big deal. For me it is. I had learning disabilities as a kid and had tutors at home, summer school, pulled out of class for extra help, given extra time to take tests, the list goes on and on. But most of all I was teased and bullied for being slower. In a split second something I was doing with the man I loved and who said he loved me, made me feel stupid and unimportant and worthless. 

So this time, I was very reflective and honest and genuine with myself and found words that together were me. (Haha I used those 3 words in my list) 

I found an app that makes word clouds and I have created 5 word cloud pictures with my 100 words. I’ve ordered prints so that I can keep them on my desk at work and to put in my step 4 journal. 

I noticed that a word is misspelled but I decided rather than going back and redoing the entire thing (the app doesn’t save the words that I’ve found) I’d leave it, because that’s all part of who I am! 

Here are a few of my word clouds. (Note the program repeats the words several times)

    

    
  

 My journey to serenity continues…

Quote from Muhammad Ali that is spot on during recovery (for me anyway) 

A few months back a did a Facebook Video challenge where for 7 days you posted something that was done in one take and that you were genuine. During that challenge I ‘met’ someone else also in recovery. And since that challenge, he inspires me everyday by his posts and videos. Please check out Austin and his incredible website full of recovery stories and support.  http://sober-evolution.com/about/ 

Austins video today was this quote from Muhammad Ali. How timely this quote is for me. One I had not heard before. ‘I hated every minute of training. But I said….don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’ 

As I work on my step 4, at times I have been distracted by ghosts from my past during other parts of my day. Yesterday was one of those days. 

Starting was the hardest part of step 4, but knowing what is coming for me on the other side of step 4 makes doing the hard work worth doing it. 

I wouldn’t say that I hate this part of the process but it’s hard for sure. And it’s been a long time coming. 

Knowing that Muhammad Ali said that he hated every minute of training is very interesting to me. A champion is full of determination and drive and technique. But those qualities are what pushes you to the next level. Pushes you to be the best. Keeps you going when you are distracted. 

 
I know what I think is coming for me on the other side of step 4, but I’m sure it pales in comparison to what God has prepared for me! 

I still carry my 24 hour token with me everywhere I go, it reminds me of the commitment I made to myself 116 days ago. 

I’m worth the hard work because the Mar on the other side of step 4 is amazing. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Trusting Gods plan…

Was talking to someone last night after my Celebrate Recovery (CR) meeting about that God is not surprised that we were where we were and we are where we are now and knows exactly where we will be in the future. 

I’m chucking to myself at the thought of God saying ‘well I didn’t see that coming’ or ‘Really, that’s the choice you made? Or ‘#epicfail’ 

While I may say that to myself, God is not surprised by anything that I’ve been through. He was there every step of the way. He stayed by my side even when I didn’t want a relationship with Him. He waited for me. Encouraging me. Putting people in my life at the right time. And times I was stubborn or full of pride that My plan was better, He kept encouraging me and kept putting people in my life. 

God met me where I was and sent people to walk me out. 

Me. 

Jesus died on the cross for me. 

God loves me so much that he sent his son to die for me. 

I am humbled. I am so undeserving of such love and sacrifice. 

 

I am trusting His Plan for me. I know He has great things planned for me. I am in relationship with Him and listening. 

My journey to serenity continues….