Am coming up on my 2 year anniversary of abstinence on March 14, and just looking back at all the changes that have happened. I have continued to work on the steps, and have reworked some that needed more attention. My step 8 list is being revised, added to, being done more in depth than I was willing to originally, and I consider that a positive. My ability to rationalize still rears it's head occasionally, but thank God for sponsors and other program friends who can be honest with me. I spent a long time sending my reasons for making the list I did to a close friend, words upon words to justify how I was doing it and why. His response was 2 words to me - "You're rationalizing!" I knew he was right, step 8 says make the list, not qualify the list, that comes in Step 9 WITH help from my sponsor. I cannot do this alone, my own thinking is still flawed no matter how much progress I have made, I must work this program with others.
My daughter had a three day workshop of sorts, our homeschooling group sponsored a "Mystery Festival" where a crime scene was established, clues were left, and about 20 kids tried to figure out what happened and "who done it". It was a half hour drive and the class was about 3.5 hours each day and the final day was about 5 hours. I wasn't sure I could handle that much time sitting in the hard chairs or standing around but thought I'd try it. Well, I was able to last about 2 hours without any major discomfort, but it soon became too much, the second day I arranged to spend some time with a friend who lived close by the class location while the kids did their thing, and was able to go to the last hour of the class that day, but still being sore and my legs ballooning a bit due to the poor circulation, the evening recuperation time was a bit achy. I still managed to walk every other day last week, not the usual but certainly "enough" with the other activity.
I have the weekend to myself, time which I cherish, and on my walk today I took notice of something, my legs were rubbing together. :-) I have to smile at this revelation, and am mildly amused at the thought that I would take pleasure in a seemingly small and potentially painful happening. But up to this point my legs didn't rub together they just "were" together, the skin rotating around the points of contact. It's like I'm wearing a way too big suit now, and sometimes I feel like I could pull by arms inside myself and turn around inside my own skin... LOL I also noticed that I was irritated and at the same time elated that my pants keep falling off, well, at least slipping down, as the elastic waistband no longer grabs my middle all that tightly... the seamstress has 4 pair of pants that she's working on, and I hope she gets them done soon.. :-)
My food plan continues intact and hasn't changed in the last 2 years, it is comfortable and reliable, it's working very well, and I have had very little desire to alter it. The TV food commercials bombard me, but I try to disregard them, turning the sound off during them and doing something else for those 4 mins. My computer is right by my chair, so I usually read emails or do something on there or I have begun taping the shows I want to watch so I can fast forward through the commercials, but for the most part they just simply don't bother me anymore.
I remember my daily shower used to be such a chore, and now it's a real joy, 10 mins or so and I feel rejuvenated afterward. Making treks across the house to get some small thing is no longer a major excursion, no planning required, no trepidation, it's just a short walk to go get something. Simple pleasures!
It's no longer a chore to get up and refill my own water jug, to get up and change the VCR tape. I saw a commercial the other day that had a guy yelling for help, and his daughter came in and he calmly then asked her to bring him the remote that was on the top of the TV about 10' away.. and I cringed a bit because that is what I used to be like. I wasn't yelling with desperation, but just as demanding. I do still ask for those kinds of favors, but it's not from necessity anymore and if I catch myself doing it too much, I have a little talking to to myself and then I get off my big butt and do it myself, progress!
I am able to sleep laying down now for about 4 hours and have noticed that if I don't get horizontal at least a couple of hours a day, I am uncomfortable now. After years of not being able to lay down for more than 15 mins without having much difficulty breathing and just the aches and pains of all that weight being distributed differently on my body, this is a real joy.
Errands to the store are not major anymore either, where I used to be able to go to only one store a day, I now do several different stops without thought, without fatigue, and just rattling off the list of things I do in a day to my sponsor each night brings a smile and a reassuring comment from her reminding me again of how far I've come.
I have been clearing a stand of trees on the back of my property, and the progress there is very confidence building also... I've let it go for the last couple of weeks, but still take great pride in what's been done so far, it really opened up that back area. I was just thinking this morning when walking by that it was time to start up again back there.
I have made some contacts about returning to the treatment center I went to in order to tell my story, or make some kind of presentation to the "inmates" LOL, I mean residents, to pass along a little hope and tell of my experiences. I have not pursued it vigorously, but that is something I feel strongly that I need to do, so I WILL set something in motion this year to do that.
My mental faculties are deteriorating a bit it seems, I get overwhelmed more easily than I remember, but that may be just because I was always using substance to avoid those feelings, so learning to deal with my own confusion is proving interesting. My father is having his troubles with memory too so I have some concern that heredity is "going to work" on me in that regard also. I will do the best I can to let HP handle that and to help me deal with it as my life progresses.
There has been growing financial pressures brought on by years of abuse, and I acknowledge my part in that dilemma, but for the past 2 years I can say I have not 'added' anymore to it, but it will take years to get it under control, if you all remember I wasn't planning to have to deal with it, I was going to be dead by now.. :-) so I have to now deal with the aftermath of my actions from the past. I hope soon to be physically able enough to once again contribute to the financial well-being of my family. My computer work does so, but minimally at this point... it will increase though and I'm feeling stronger about my ability to more vigorously build that business. If not that, then something else will present itself or my HP will lead me, nudge me, in a more productive pursuit.
I've heard Dr. Phil say "you can't solve a money problem with money, it's a lifestyle issue" and I can certainly see that for myself. Money will take care of the bills, but won't address the real problem, that of being responsible. I've heard it said also and found it to be true, that "we are all broke, just at different levels".. ;-) how true that is. In my life I have made more money than I could spend at the time, but since I had it, I 'learned' to spend it.. and the level of "necessity" was changed, so now what used to be excessive funds is no longer "enough" to live on in our current situation... We have collected "things" to validate our existence and it is choking the life out of us.
Over the last year we have begun to clear all this excess and pare down our lifestyle, concentrating on our emotional and spiritual well-being, then the material stuff will lose it's importance and what we truly "need" will be provided. Trust and faith have been the products of working this program.
I am so blessed and am so grateful to have been allowed to hang around a while longer. I will continue the happy trudge and will continue to share it. thanks for being a part of my life.
love and hugs,
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