Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Lovin'

Two summers ago, I got a job.  I opened my own bank account, and I ached deeply.  No one really knew about my pain, and somehow that made the pain worse. The day I started my job, my cousin ended up life-flighting out of town due to a traumatic brain injury.  My grandpa was hospitalized twice.  My dad ended up in the hospital with an awful virus and went from John Wayne to Nearly Dead within a matter of days.  Our family hay barn caught fire.  Grandma's three freezers full of years' beef (raised by them) went out while they were on vacation.
We just wanted to come up for air.
Last summer it was much of the same pattern... Danny and I separated.  My son broke him arm. I had surgery to remove my gall bladder.  And that was just July.
As this summer has begun, I've been sick. I've had nausea and fatigue. I chalked it up to having my gall bladder out last year and have just been pushing through the pain. My sister in law delivered her baby 8 weeks early -everything turned out really well, thankfully. Last week, I went to the pool with my daughter's class to chaperone an end of the year party.  I was sick but trying to power through.  I called the Dr. and set up an appointment for the next day because my pain had begun radiating to my back and I wanted to make sure something wasn't about to rupture before I headed to Utah that weekend for my sister's wedding.
While in the pool, my son had a seizure. He's never had one before and I thought he was dying.  My husband stayed the night with him in the hospital so I could go to my own Dr. appointment the next morning.
The good Dr. evaluated me and made a diagnosis: ulcers.
I wanted to laugh.
OF COURSE it's ulcers.

The meds helped almost immediately.

We attended my son's kindergarten graduation that night -he was well enough to attend -and left for Utah the next morning.  I came home and got a call from my bank's fraud department: someone was spending my cash that wasn't me.

Between all of the madness as I try to put together my sister's reception this weekend (I'm head reception honcho, ole!) I am dealing with life stuff as well.
A live-wire toddler.
Lack of sleep.
Broken car.

I'm really exhausted.
No amount of self-care is enough to fill my cup for what's coming.  At this point, I'm just battening down the hatches and weathering the storm which I've come to accept as INDEFINITE.

I keep thinking, 'Alicia, stop being such a victim.'  Because every time I HEAR myself SOUND like a victim, I shame myself.
Stop being weak.
Stop complaining.
Stop whining.
Just stop.

These are the voices I've heard for my entire life.

As I work on Step 7 and ask God to PLEASE remove my victim-ness, I find him sending me a lot of, well, persecution.
Is He testing me?  To see if I'm TRULY ready to give it to Him?
That's what I kept thinking, but as I've reached out and talked more about it, I realize that I've always confused victimization and actually being victimized.
God is trying to show me the difference.

As my debit card was being spent, I accepted that it sucked.  I reached out and I talked it out.  I called the right people and then I laughed.  Stupid card thefts.  Shoulda stole from someone who actually HAS money.
Give me my $100 back OR ELSE.

Growing up with my Mom was hard because of her traumatic brain injury.  My sister was born 5 years later and naturally has a better bond with her.  As she's been wedding planning, I've ached deeply for all I missed in the mother department, but I rejoice that my sister DOES have it.  I've cried and talked it out with safe people and prayed SO much.  THIS is NOT victimization.  This is healthy emotional living.

Being sick for WEEKS, having my son have a seizure, finding ulcers... this is ALL CRAP.  And it sucks.  It's hard.  I SOUND like a victim when I talk with people.

I am not a surface person.  If you ask me how I'm doing, I TELL IT ALL.  Conversely, I'm not interested in your surface.  I want to know WHO and WHY and WHAT and WHEN while I look into your eyes.  I love people, and I'm fascinated by what makes them tick and why.  I struggle to END conversations because there's always so much more to be said and found out.  Each person is a mystery.

So when I talk, you get to hear about debit card fraud and my mom's brain injury and my gastro ulcer issues because I HATE MYSTERIES and I want you to know me.

But I am not a victim.
I talk about my problems SO I CAN handle them in a healthy way.

This is really hard for me to wrap my mind around.  The voices in my head still call out, "complainer.  Whiner.  Weak mouse baby."

These lies will die hard.

I appreciate those who have been on the listening end who have helped me audibly debunk the lies floating around in my brain.
Satan takes shreds of truth and encases them neatly in lies and then FEEDS THEM TO ME.
He is SO GOOD at it.  He does an amazing job.  Artfully.  Skilled.  Punk face.

I just want to reach out today and say, "Hey, guess what?  I'm not the victim I thought I was.  I'm just being hit crap dovetail-style. But I'm leaning on God, I'm surrendering and the Atonement is working wild miracles in my life. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to take my ulcer meds."

I used to use victimization to get attention and I equated attention with love.
I have made leaps and bounds of progress in that area, thanks to recovery.

I now know that my attempts to use victimization and other manipulation tactics to gain attention were pride and fear-based.
I can now rest in God as the chaos swirls and know that with humility comes serenity.

There is endless chaos in my external environment.
Thank GOD my external environment isn't the one that matters anymore.

May you be reasonably happy in your chaos today is my prayer for you.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tides A'Changing

I used to write so much more on this blog. I had so much to say, so much to share.

These days I'm hard-pressed to find words.
What can I say that needs to be said?
I've been in recovery longer now than I had been a year ago, surely that warrants more shares. Only I find I've come farther and found I'm quite at the beginning.

The more I work recovery, the more I find there is to work.
How can I help others when I have no idea what The Lord has in mind for them?
Each day... EACH day I face my own character defects, and my soul is filled with the desire to surrender. Sometimes I successfully surrender, sometimes I don't have the faith necessary to surrender completely.

In this state of perpetual pride -one I which I fear I will exist quite indefinitely -I am humbled at least to the point of knowing that I have no answers.

Four days ago, I felt the beautiful, blessed serenity that has come from working recovery daily. My shoulders relaxed, my mind at ease. I felt myself being present and appreciated more fully God's supernal blessings.
I had enough.
I was enough.

And then, three days ago, I was hit with a shame trigger that uprooted it all. I began blaming and feeling like a victim of circumstances. All too suddenly, I didn't have enough, and I wasn't even close to being enough.
I called my sponsor to surrender the shame.
I prayed. And still... I felt myself turn completely and utterly inside, unaware of God's peace. I was hurt easily by any cat that looked at me crossways.
Two days ago, it lingered. Still I prayed, still I faltered.
Yesterday, I just made it to the end of the day before breaking into the kind of tears that make your body shake and require some kind of rough work to get them all out for the moment.
I took a scrubber pad to my dishes, and my dishes caught all of my pain, all of my tears.

Who could I call?
I made a list in my mind, only dismiss it and beg God for what I desired and knew only He could offer.

Take sesh this pain.
Danny held me as my tears tapered off, validating my pain which wasn't addiction-related at all, but family of origin related. Can you relate? Yes... Families are the greatest sources of deep emotion, aren't they?

Shame is so powerful. I make decisions from a shameful place.
I know I shouldn't, and I also know that I do it without realizing it. And I've BEEN DOING IT for years. and I didn't realize it until I'd been in recovery for FIVE years.
When I feel shame, I blame. When I'm blaming, I'm a victim.
I recognized my tendency toward victimization two years ago, and only recently did I tie it to the root... And that root is shame.

The farther in get into the puzzles of me, the more puzzle pieces I find.

I seemed to know so much more a few years ago, had more to offer, more answers.
I know now that I have a few answers for myself and they do not coincide with everyone else's answers. What's more... The answers I do have are slim  it fierce and carry me through the answers I don't have which are looming at best and threatening at worst,

What do I have to say?
Not much. And that's a heck of a change from a girl who can't be bothered with silence much.

(My computer cord was viciously mangled by my dog, so I'm typing from my iPad which always ends up messy. Forgives us, won'tcha?)