I recently did my first "outside" program where I told a bit of my story. My 30 minute talk ended up being 45, but no one seemed to mind much. There were laughs and tears, and lots of hugs afterward as people came up to me to say how much they could relate to my story. It was very satisfying to know what I had to share was of some value.
This was my first "overnight" away from my home in many many years. Sleeping in a regular hotel bed for one night proved uncomfortable after the initial 3-4 hour nap I took the first night, falling asleep at about 7:30pm and missing my evening snack at the facility. I toyed with the idea of going out for something at the nearby convenient store, sure I could find something appropriate, but decided that missing one snack would not be fatal, and testing myself at that point would not be wise. I had not done enough preparation for the "just in case" situations... and sure enough I had one. What I will do next time is make sure I have something with me in case what I had planned to do doesn't happen. Fortunately my mind set was such that I didn't spend the next day trying to "make up" for the meal I missed, I just forgot about it and moved on. New behavior for sure.
I was able to spend about 1.5 hours with the therapist that I saw while at the center and it was great to visit with her. While most of the staff had changed, I did see one very important person who was instrumental in getting me admitted 2 years ago, and got a quick smile as she came out to see me, and didn't recognize me right away, she asked if she could help me, and I said, "yes, you can give me a hug!", the moment of recognition was wonderful, and we shared a long heartfelt hug, then sat and talked for a few minutes before she had to resume her duties. It was very gratifying to see her joy in the changes in me.
Shortly after the program ended, my wife and I drove home, 2 hours in the rain, and I collapsed in my chair sore and tired from so much activity. It took me 2 days to fully recover, but it was well worth it.
I went for my walk the next day even being so tired, and have continued to do so, getting up a little earlier because it's once again starting to get hot in Florida earlier in the day now.
I have been cutting down a stand of Australian pine trees in my back yard, and it's starting to really show the progress now.. have regained about 30' of "yard" so far, and have all the small offshoots cut, now am ready to down the medium sized ones. Also started trimming back the Downing Jasmine bushes that have been taking over the front yard, and climbing up the Orchid tree, so hopefully when that tree blooms again, it will once again fill the front corner of our property.
The vegetable garden is looking good, someone is putting it in as a cooperative garden so we'll be having fresh veges soon. :-) The back yard is filled with plants waiting for placement, it looks like a veritable Garden of Eden back there now... very uplifting to look out and see that each morning as I walk past heading out for my walk. God is good!
My program is continuing to be the focus of my life. My sponsor came over on Sunday and we worked on some step work together... she is great at pointing out to me the changes she sees, usually which I do not... so it's a humbling thing for me. It makes me so grateful to be working this program and to have a sponsor who loves me enough to be honest and open with me. She came to my talk with my wife and afterward she gave me a big hug and she, "I really love you!" She is such an inspiration to me, she works a very strong program so I know if she thinks I'm doing okay, I'm doing Great! :-)
Challenges of raising a 12 year old had gotten to a very tenuous point again, so more stringent boundaries have been placed, and seem to be doing the trick, my tendency is to be too lenient, to inconsistent, and too over-indulgent, a bad combination for setting good limits.. and she suffers because of it, so this week has been going remarkably well in comparison, I pray for continued guidance and strength to remain vigilant with this. I try to remember she is only 12 and not ready for much still... I am trying to instill in her a desire to "want" to learn, to have a passion for something, which she does of course, it's just that reading all day doesn't seem to be enough to me... ;-) sigh, oh well, that's MY perception, it will all work out I trust.
My weekly OA meeting is tonight, someone is telling their story, so should be enlightening.
I continue to have the reprieve from my food compulsion, a joy to be sure. I am truly grateful for that and thank my HP daily for the gift.
I'll keep taking myself in to the light of this program, it gives me the reassurance I need to continue doing the daily work of this plan of living.
love and hugs,
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