Another week has wound down, it was a busy one for me, lots of activities with my daughter, the tests seem to be never ending, the stress levels are up, but being managed much better than in times past.
Stretching myself physically this week took it's toll, so yesterday I veged out most of the day. Today I began with my walk again, it felt good to get out and do that... sufficiently rejuvenated from the day off, it went quickly, the pace is picking up slowly and I'm very happy about that.
Food remains good, and money is somehow arriving in time, it's getting easier to trust that, or at least to accept it if it doesn't and to look for alternative solutions. Business has been a little busier this month so that will help in a few weeks. I keep thinking about the promise that "fear of economic insecurity will leave us"... it doesn't say the insecurity will go away, only the fear of it.. :-)
Some people were at my f2f meeting last night that hadn't seen me in a while, so got some pats on the back as they noticed the changes in me. The discussion was about our "illusions".
Mine was that if I could somehow control things, I would be happy, AND that if I could do my best, I would be perfect. This all stems from my upbringing, and no matter how well I did, it was never quite good enough (my perception) cause my parents would always say, "if you would just apply yourself, you could do better", or "that's nice, but I would have done it this way"..... so I got to equate "the best I could do" with perfection... and it's still hard to say, "it's the best I could do" without voicing all the things that are wrong. If I build something and get complimented on it, I say thanks of course, (I have learned to do that now...) but I will have a very strong desire to point out all the things that are wrong with it, things that most people wouldn't notice, but it must be a kind of defense mechanism so that it's ME pointing it out instead of someone else pointing it out TO me. Being self-deprecating is better than others pointing out my flaws I guess.
I've noticed in our OA groups that everyone acknowledges us when we lose weight, but if we gain, seldom is anything said. It's the white elephant, it's the Emperor's new clothes thing I guess, if we don't speak it then it doesn't really exist. Since I don't admit it freely, I don't want anyone else to "put it in my face", even in the most caring way, because what I hear is "You're a failure!" and "If you were really working an honest program, you wouldn't be gaining weight now would you?".
Having others point out my flaws, when I am unwilling to, is painful, which is an excuse to get back into the food if I have no other coping mechanism in place for handling that kind of stress. That is what this program does for me, it gives me new tools for dealing with my life without abusing the food to survive it. It's all about how we react under stress, does it make us strong and determined or do we crumble or whither up in the face of these tests?
I used to be a crumbler, but am becoming a person of determination. I am determined to remain in recovery. I am unwilling to go back to the life I had before. I have a healthy fear of that life, and will do whatever it takes to continue on the path forward. My steps are halting sometimes, but with the help from my HP and my group and my friends, I continue to move in a positive direction. I continue to do the footwork - the reading, the meetings, the prayers, sticking to my food plan, working the steps - and trust the outcome to my Higher Power.
May we all find the strength to continue one more day, one more hour, one more minute... however small the increment has to be to survive... just hang on!
My life is a living example that it does get better, miracles do happen. The miracle that I look forward to waking up now instead of looking forward to being dead is nothing short of a miracle. Hang on till the miracle happens, if you do, it will!
Woke up from a very strange dream a few minutes ago.. it had started out in a banquet room of a small roadside Inn type place. A gathering of old friends supposedly and I was the "guest of honor" or at least the focus of attention, something about an old flame of mine who was pursuing a music/singing career and this small group of about 6 people were getting together for a business deal to either buy a hotel in New Orleans where this girl was going to be performing or something to that effect, or were going to somehow go and help her launch or manage her career and I was the one being courted because of past involvent I guess. There were pictures shown of this girl and though I was acting like I WAS their close buddy, and had intimate details of past experiences, I still recognized no one in this group. It was as if I knew them but yet they were all strangers to me. I would suspect it would be like having amnesia and having friends trying to recount stories of my past in an effort to get me to remember.
In the end, I passed on the deal and after some heartfelt good-byes I went to leave, but they had hidden the "stuff" I was taking, a brief case maybe, and some boxes of memorabilia, and after a few minutes of them laughing about it, I was told it had all been put in the storeroom, and a woman, who was obviously someone else I had been close to in the past escorted me to where it was, though I seemed to know the way, and even said that of course I knew the way, I had been here many times in my youth.
We began talking of life dreams and goals and I was saying how I had made my choices and was happy where I was even though it fell very short of what my aspirations and dreams had been when younger. After saying good-bye to her I picked up one of the boxes, or bags, and began leaving, but by the time I got to the motorcycle I was then driving I had nothing with me. I think motorcycles represent the traveler, the vagabond to me, I've always had those types of feelings about just being out in the world, looking and experiencing a life of freedom, non-attachment.
I got stuck behind a guy who was on foot in traffic, and he was about 5 car lengths back from the car in front, and we were stopped at a light waiting to get back on a major street, and he was going so slow that I was going to miss the light, it was changing to red, and I pushed on through anyway.. there were crowd noises like a cheering section as to whether we would make the light or not... so it changed to red, but I kept on going anyway, pushing the guy in front of me along and then trying to go around him, and getting in the way of an oncoming car, who swerved to avoid me and either hit or was hit by another car, it was a minor fender bender, but knowing it was my fault I didn't try to run away, I slowed and looked for a safe way to stop and get to the side of the road to wait for a policeman to come and to give my statement and take responsibility for the accident.
When I parked and got back to the scene though, this car had an old couple in it, the woman looking up at me, the old man looked dead, and then she began to ask about my insurance which I told her I didn't have, then the old man came back to life, groggy and disoriented, but he also began talking about what I could afford to pay, what kinds of assets I had, etc. and they seemed in a hurry looking around for the when the police was going to arrive, and it seemed like I was being scammed, and when it was determined I had nothing of any value that they could realize, I simply got back on my motorcycle, and now realizing I had forgotten to take those boxes of my memorabilia I went back to the Inn to get them, but once again went in to the storeroom but came out with nothing and was then riding a bicycle instead of a motorcycle and was riding around the top of a dirt burm, then slipped off of the top and ended up on a race track, either dogs or horses, but just calmly went up the incline and over the edge to be on my way down a rolling bunch of dirt hills.. I then woke up.
I was left with such an overwhelming feeling of being disconnected, sadness at not being able to remember these people who were supposedly close to me, feeling so isolated and alone and yet somehow knowing that it was I who had kept my distance and failed to really connect with these people. It was I who had let life pass me by and had not realized my earlier dreams and goals and was now just existing but with no real purpose. When I was leaving the Inn, both times, I had the feeling not of "going somewhere" but of "leaving somewhere", going out into the great unknown, like the traveler with no roots who is constantly looking for "something else". The song "Moon River" started going through my head (an all time favorite of mine), but also leaving me with that sadness about searching for something I know I'll never find, something I know doesn't really exist and yet I keep looking.
I've tried to put a positive spin on this somehow, trying to focus on how this relates to working the program, but I'm simply left this morning with a terrible overwhelming sadness and feeling of loss, of wasted time and life.
My daughter is going away for the weekend, so the house will be empty for 3 days... maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe it's the worries of our finances, and even though steps are in motion to alleviate that, the resolution is a ways off yet. Maybe it's that I was contacted a week or so ago from an old high school buddy who I haven't heard from in 35 years who was recounting incidents of our youth which I have no memory of.. and when pressing my memory can't think of anyone I was really close to during those years.. Maybe it's just a mid-life crisis. Whatever it is, it has left me feeling pretty isolated I guess, and though I "love" my isolation, it is feeling a bit overwhelming this morning.
I will make a point to read something inspirational, something positive, and of course I will continue to "do the next thing in front of me", - my walk, plan and fix my meals, work on a job for a client, and maybe pick up some more fallen trees in the back yard. I have plenty "to do", but no desire to do it today... but I will anyway. :-)
I guess this is just one of those feelings I will have to feel. I have not had any thoughts of eating to elevate my mood, which is pretty amazing, but simply to sit in the feeling, knowing it will go away and something else will replace it soon enough. I guess THAT is the program at work, knowing that just having these feelings is okay, I don't need to obliterate them, or change them artificially, just to simply feel them.
Thank you HP. Help me to continue to trust in my ability (with your help) to handle whatever comes my way.
love and hugs,
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