My Truth

Stability…

At work today I was listening to YouTube (as usual) and a TD Jakes clip played…

You didn’t get to pick what shaped your world. But you do get to pick what stabilizes it’

This to me is so timely and powerful. I have been looking for stability in my life for a long time. I’ve felt like I was white knuckling life got the last 20 plus years. All day. Everyday. Trying to control everything.

And what brought me the stability that I’ve been looking for? A little 12 Step Christ centered program called Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve found a new stride. My new normal. It’s a pretty happy place. Not without challenges. Not without struggles. Not without upset. That’s just called life. And because of that I’ve learned 12 stepping, living the 12 steps daily and by God’s Grace, I can cope in a new way.

Finding stability when life is always changing. Finding stability when the unexpected happens. Finding stability in an uncertain world.

No longer do I need to live in secret, silence or shame. No longer do I worry about what someone may think of my situation or of me. As a mother, sister or friend.

This stability that I thought was so far out of reach, wasn’t. And as I continue to let go of control and trust God and His plan for

my life, the more stable I have become.

And the more stable I become, the more I need to be stable.

Stay on this ride with me, the best is yet to be.

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pic used in this post.

Advertisements
My Truth

I cried because I had no shoes…

I’m reading this amazing book about grief. I have learned quiet a bit. I have made some new connections and have a better understanding of my own grief.

A few years ago, I asked a client how she was doing (knowing she just lost her job and was putting one foot on front of the other to get by) but I really wanted to know because I enjoyed working with her. She said ‘I don’t complain because I was always told, ‘I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

This for sure gives an picture of empathy and to be grateful for what you have because someone always has it worse.

I hadn’t thought much about that quote after my conversation other than it was a good perspective. Until I read it in the book and it created a new point of view for me.

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.

It implies that someone’s pain or hurt is more than another. That I shouldn’t cry because I have no shoes because someone else has it worse than I do. It also implies comparison of pain and hurt. That my pain is less than.

Hmm

Grieving the loss on someone (although it can be many other things besides a person) is personal.

The relationship I had with my mother, for example, was different than the relationship my mother had with my each of my siblings. The pain I feel, is the pain I feel and the level of pain they feel, is the pain they feel.

And the pain that woman feels who lost their daughter that same day. That woman’s pain doesn’t make my pain any less.

And while it’s easy to look at both situations and say that mother who lost her daughter pain is worse than me the daughter who lost my mother. But is it? And really who cares, why are we comparing??? Both of these women are hurting and that’s the point. Both women lost someone they love, let’s meet them where they are and love them.

Let’s stop comparing pain. Let’s stop trying to fix each other by saying things like time heals because the truth is time doesn’t heal. It’s a big fat lie. Time only means it’s been longer that I’ve been in pain. Longer that I’ve missed my mom.

Not remembering until I saw it the other day and I was actually stunned to read it but I wrote on my mom’s memorial online…mom, I don’t know how to be here without you. This was just days after she died. And you know what I wrote last March on the 9th anniversary of her passing….mom, I don’t know how to be here without you. So time has not healed the pain I feel.

So yeah, I cried because I had no shoes. And I will cry for my friend who has no feet too.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

It’s a season, not a sentence…

It’s been far too long since I have written. I have started many posts since my last one but are all unfinished thoughts. Not coming together easily. Which is how writing works for me.

I think I’ve posted about seasons before but I didn’t even go back and look. I write what’s put on my heart. Most often it’s what I need to hear in this moment. And the words just flow out of me. Sometimes so fast that I can’t type fast enough or catch that auto correct changed put to out (that one happens all the time)

So I love to refer to time periods as seasons. I’m in a season of waiting. Or I’m in a season of growth. Or I’m in a season of asking questions.

I love to refer to these times as seasons because it reminds me that these times are not permanent. They change. They bloom. And then they transform into something else. They are still. And then experience new growth. And they even are wonderful and warm and those seasons change too. But again not forever.

I have been in a season, maybe several the last few months. A season of contentment but still wanting more. A season of stillness but still wanting more. A season of what i thought was understanding and great communication but knowing something was wrong. A season of learning to ask for help and learning to accept it.

And now a season of exclusion and not understanding but trusting anyway. This is an opportunity to step back and let someone else work out their pain and hurts without my interference or influence.

And even with how hard this is and how much my heart is hurting,

I MUST remember this it’s a season, not a sentence.

I MUST remember that God is in control.

I MUST remember that while hurt people hurt people, healing people heal people. But it’s only when that hurting person seeks healing.

I MUST remember that what someone thinks or says about me, doesn’t make it true.

I MUST remember that recovery is about progress not perfection.

I MUST remember that 2 people can be in the same experience but see and feel things so differently.

I MUST remember to give grace when I love someone but disagree with them too.

My very first Bible study, 10 years ago now, was The Prodigal God. A 12 week study on the Prodigal Son. My brother teased me that it took 12 weeks to look at 21 Bible verses! But it was a deep dive on looking at everyone in the story. How was the Dad feeling? What was the other brother thinking when his brother returned. Anyway it was a cool study on relationships and feelings.

So I’ve been reflecting on how the Dad must of felt. Giving his son his inheritance and letting him leave. Not understanding or wanting this for his son. Not knowing where he was or what he was doing. Being concerned for his other son’s feelings. Did he watch every day for his son to return.

His must have known that it was for a season and not a sentence. And that seasons change.

My journey continues….

My Truth

What someone else thinks of me, is none of my business….

I heard this saying very early in my recovery walk. What someone else thinks of me, is none of my business. Clearly it stuck with me. And bubbled back up to the surface recently.

In the beginning, this saying was comforting because I felt judged. I felt like people looked at me and said I can’t believe what she put her family through. But that wasn’t really true in most cases.

Most of the time it was me, making it up. Knowing all I’ve done and the shame it burdened me with. I felt that shame and figured people could see it. Like it was written across my forehead.

But it wasn’t, it was written across the slate of my soul.

But what I found in recovery rooms was grace not judgment. And what I found each time a shared a little bit more of myself was genuine care not disgust. And what I discovered with my sponsor was after knowing all I shared with her, she loved me anyway.

Now I won’t lie, there was that other end of most….which is just a few. They were judgmental. They knew parts of the story and said I was a terrible person. And one even wrote me a letter which included, wouldn’t your parents be disappointed. That right there is guilt and shame. And no one is going guilt and shame me into being someone who I am not. This type of reaction is unwanted, unnecessary, unkind and unhealthy.

I’ve been reminded this week that what someone else thinks of me is none of my business. And all I need to do is keep my focus on God and my deeper understanding of codependency and continue to grow into the person God made me to be.

I am exactly where I was meant to be. Today, in this moment. Mistakes and all. Flaws and all.

So here’s a little something about me. I march to my own drum, always have. Don’t mind marching alone but prefer with a drum line! I think snap chat is fun and silly. And you never know what color my hair might be next time I see you. So here is a few of my favorite snap chat pics

Because Of the work Ive done and continue to do, in the 12 steps God has been rewriting what’s on my soul.,

I’m just going to keep being me.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

It’s not ____’s problem, until it becomes _____’s problem, before then there is…

It’s not ____’s problem, until it becomes ____’s problem, before then there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO!

Have you ever loved an addict? Or even have addictive behaviors yourself?

Many things come to mind that I have said out loud:

• Where is your bottom?

• When is enough?

• Will you stop for me?

• If he loves me, he will stop

• I can soften his fall and he will stop

• I’ll just pretend it’s not happening

But the hard truth is, until the person gets to the point that they have had enough and they want to try something different and only until that happens there is nothing you can do. And trying to do something will only hurt you and them.

Addiction is selfish. It’s all consuming. It is deceptive. Addiction lies.

Addiction may temporarily pause feelings. It may temporarily makes you feel better (but does it). Addiction might even give you comfort. But it lies.

Addiction hurts people. Addiction hurts families. Addiction changes the addict. Addiction ends lives. Addiction lies.

As someone who has loved an addict (several in fact), I hurt myself and the addict when I tried to help when they couldn’t answer yes to the following questions:

• Have you had enough?

• Are you willing to try a new way of living?

So until they can answer those questions YES, there is nothing you can do. Except, to create boundaries around that person to protect yourself and them.

Boundaries are hard but necessary.

I’ll write about boundaries next time, tonight I just wanted to give a voice to the part of me (and maybe you too) that it’s not your fault and you can’t fix someone else’s addiction no matter how much you want to. But there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO for them.

My journey continues…

My Truth

Guilt and Shame…

Something happened last month that still surprises me when I think about it because I reacted to it differently than I ever had before. It was in that moment that I realized that I can recover from codependency behaviors and break this cycle that I have lived most of my life.

In the past, this person knew all the right buttons to push and knew exactly what to say to bring me to my knees and ‘win’ a disagreement. This person thrives on disagreements and tends to like to use big words to show me he is smarter than I am.

I have little contact with this person anymore but we do need to communicate at times.

We had a meeting scheduled and the night before the meeting, I was hammered with text messages about several things out of my control and frankly out of his control too. These messages included bringing up old situations which had long resolved themselves but not in the way he wanted. As well as why didn’t I notice this or why wasn’t I paying attention to that. And then THE ONE CARD that has always worked in the past was thrown at me.

And my reply….. You will not guilt and shame me into an argument with you.

And the messages stopped.

The meeting happened but before the meeting the same questions were asked and I said, this is not the time or place. If you’d like to meet for coffee, I’ll be happy to talk about it.

And after the meeting, it started again. And I said again….You will not guilt and shame me into an argument with you. I’m not trying to guilt or shame you he said….really I said and gave him examples of all the things he said or asked my those two days by text or in person. Those aren’t trying to guilt or shame me?

Tools I have learned because of recovery and not only learned but have put into practice are amazing.

The tit for tat and keeping score that worked for so long to get me to say or do what he wanted, no longer works. And taking a new approach from listening and love and support, works so much better for everyone involved.

One of my hangups is not being heard. Especially with this person. He has run me over time and time again because that is how we related to each other. But when I listened for what’s really going on and pointed it out. It has changed everything for me.

Arguing with someone not in recovery is hard because their version of the truth is clouded by their addiction. And it’s not just drugs or alcohol. It could be gambling or having to be right or perfect. It could even be Anger. Whatever it is, I don’t have to continue to react the way I always had. I can tell my truth and end the argument and pray that one day he will be get past his habits and hangups too.

I never learned a healthy way to disagree. Until I worked my 12 step program. I never knew how to be heard. Until I worked my 12 step program. I didn’t know a better way……until now.

12 step has changed my life for the good. And working a Christian based 12 step reminds me that all things work together for my greater good.

My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth

What Does Recovery Look Like…

Everyone has heard WWJD What Would Jesus Do. It’s a ‘filter’ that some people use decide how to handle something or like a barometer to see how your decision measures up to the ultimate good decision maker.

Addictive behaviors are often centered around feelings, either a way to cope with feelings or a way to avoid feelings. For example, I don’t to feel hurt, (Not sure who does but stay with me) so when I feel hurt, I turn to enter your vice of choice here, to no longer feel that way or I’m not going to allow myself to hurt so I turn to my vice here.

While working a program, I started to use the WDRLL filter. Never heard of it? Well that’s because I just made it up. The What Does Recovery Look Like Filter has helped me navigate some situation.

Recently one of my sons got a card from an estranged family member. One would have hoped it said an encouraging word or just I’m here for you. Something positive. But it didn’t. Instead, it was selfish and guilty driven.

At first I wanted to blast this person directly and then indirectly on social media. I was fired up and feeling hurt. Hurt that someone would treat my son this way, hurt that they don’t get how hurtful their words are to a teenager and hurt that can’t control any of it.

But I took a deep breath.

And I took that hurt and looked at the situation using my newly defined WDRLL What Does Recovery Look Like filter and I used it as a teachable moment.

My sons and I had a conversation. We talked about how he felt. We talked about responding or not and what would be gained in responding in a healthy way to an unhealthy person and we talked about what do we do with these feelings. It truly was a teachable moment.

One of the best things as a result of me being in recovery from codependency, is I’m teaching my family recovery too, so that maybe they don’t choose enter your vice of choice here but choose a healthy way to cope.

My journey to serenity continues….