My Truth

One Moment At A Time…

Learning how to live one moment at a time Because sometimes one day at a time is too much.

The afternoon of April 6th while I was out with a group of friends, I got a phone call from my brother. I knew just from how he said hello, that something was wrong. He told me our other brother had a heart attack. He was in the hospital 2 hours away and to hang tight for more information.

In that moment, the world kept spinning around me but I was standing still. My mind was racing with who needed to be where and when, what was on my desk at work, how long it would take to drive there, how much money did I have if I needed a hotel, who’s with him, who needed to be where and when, how long will it take to get there, who’s with him, over and over and over.

The very familiar feeling of being completely out of control and numb. Feeling everything but it’s easier to feel nothing. Numb it out because this hurts far too much to think that my brother was so sick.

But I’ve worked so hard on not numbing out feelings. That new skills bubbled up….like naming feelings is better. Feeling them is hard but better. I was afraid and worried. And while I had control over nothing. So I had to do the only thing that I could do….trust God.

I started immediately understanding what living one moment at a time felt like and how I fragile life is.

I was asked to hang tight and wait for more information. I stayed with my friends rather than going home and crying by myself. I was there physically but my heart and head were not.

Sunday, my cousin drove us down to the hospital. Two of my brothers were in the visitors room and one had just left. As soon as I saw them, I started crying. It all felt like too much but I took a deep breath and we went in to see him.

Central lines, IV’s, tubes, wires, bags of meds hung and machines making rhythmic noises. All so overwhelming. So much to overcome.

In control of nothing.

Accepting one moment at a time.

Thy will be done.

I spent the next two days with him. Lots of ups and downs. We had a group text going to share updates. I felt like every time I sent an update, things changed.

Every time the machines rhythms changed, I looked to see. I’d rub my hand across his forehead and tell him how well they were taking care of him. I’d say his name and he would open his eyes.

Living one moment at a time.

Accepting one moment at a time.

Being part of every moment at a time

In control of nothing.

Just being there. Doing life together.

I went back home and my brothers rotated in and out over the next few days. There was very little time that he was alone.

Thursday was hard. Feeling like he was back sliding. Should I go back down. Should I wait. I decided to wait till morning and then decide.

Very early Friday morning April 12th, my sweet brother passed away. Grateful my brother was with him. No regrets I was not. The time we spent Sunday – Tuesday was special.

I learned to live one moment at a time.

I learned that even when not in control, I could still be there.

I learned just how fragile life is.

I learned that doing life together sometimes means doing death together too. And I am forever grateful the time we had together in his final days.

I love you kiddo. Until we meet again.

Photo Credit: my brother who passed. His caption for this photo on Facebook was ‘before my bubble burst’

More soon about him and the legacy he left his kid sister.

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

Awareness, Seeing Things In A New Way

The thing about continuing to work a recovery program is that you (or me in this case) get the opportunity to continue to have a deeper understanding of myself. A new level of awareness. Healing even deeper.

This is the most stressful time at work and between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a very difficult time of year for me personally and emotionally for YEARS. So in the middle of chaos and heart ache, I decided to do this work.

Crazy right!

Well, it has forced me to make time for myself. It’s made me practice some self care when I’m exhausted after a long day at work. To set aside time to read. Process what I’ve learned. Write about it. And have a weekly meetings about it.

I’m doing some work on grieving. I’m reading a really good book that has pointed out some things that has gotten me looking a things in a different way. About things I had not thought about in a long time but now thinking about them in a different way.

We are just at the thick of it. It’s just like that part in working the 12 steps….step 4 and 5. During that part, many people walk away because it’s hard. Its scary because you are afraid of being judged or embarrassed or feel shame around what you did or didn’t do. It’s pulling the curtain back and being vulnerable.

To be open enough to say those things out loud that no one talks about. Those things that may cause fear or judgement or shame and saying it anyway. And you know what happened when I did my step 4 and 5 with my sponsor…..ready, because when you haven’t done it yet, you don’t know. But this is what happened……my sponsor, loved me anyway. And every time I give my testimony, my recovery community, loves me anyway.

Crazy right!

So I am not afraid of hard work. I am doing the work. And I’m doing it, because I know what happens when the hard work is completed.

Which reminds me of Psalms 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.

So that painting….do you see a line of tress with the sun setting? Or do you see a guitar? Do you see both?

Don’t be afraid of working a program. Dig deep and see things in a different way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, I don’t work a perfect program. I make mistakes, I sin. I disappoint others and I disappoint myself. But God doesn’t need me to be perfect or to work a perfect program. Everyday making the decision to walk in the right direction. It’s called progress. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what matters.

It works if you work it and you are so worth it!!!

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

You don’t heal a broken heart by pretending it’s not broken…

Penn & Teller did a show call Bullshit on Showtime from 2003-2010. I’ve always loved Penn & Teller. The show debunked a wide range of popular misconceptions. From talking to the dead to bottled water to pet love to the end of the world. Adult content for sure. Not for the easily offended.  And while I didn’t always agree with their point of view it was entertaining.

1.01 Season One Episode One was Talkng to the dead. My Dad had just passed away. John Edward was all over TV and I was curious. Knowing it was bullshit but curious. At the end of the episode Penn said ‘You don’t heal a broken heart by pretending it’s not broken’. Which I have never forgotten.

  

My heart is broken from my parents passing. I had lost both my parents by age 39. A blessing to have them so long a I did because know several people who lost their parents when they were teenagers. That fact doesn’t lesson my hurt but gives me perspective. 

My heart is broken from my ex-husband. He is who he is and was unsupportive and selfish. It breaks my heart every time he disappoints our children. Every time he changes plans at the last minute. Every time he says something mean spirited. Every time he says something unkind about me……he hurts our kids, my heart and his long term relationship with our kids. 

My heart is broken from my ex-boyfriend. He lied to me about who he was and what we were together. He told me everything that I wanted/needed to hear. He hurt me emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually and any other kind of ally word. 

My heart is broken from myself. I am mad at myself for allowing my life to get so out of control because of someone else’s addiction. 

I can’t heal my heart by pretending it’s not broken by these things. Talking/writing about these things puts them in the light. Puts them in perspective. Makes them small and not the giant pile of secret feelings in the closet. 

My journey to serenity continues…