The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery


Hi all,

It's been a tough week for me, I am having to face this "life process" thing and am not doing too well with it. I have noticed a frustration and a mild depression due to situations that are showing me that "I ain't getting any younger", and it's pissing me off a bit. It's frustrating to not be as "able" as I used to be, even while regaining my health and being more mobile than I've been in years, I am realizing that I will never ever be what I once was.

I was athletic as a youth, never a great athlete but I enjoyed playing football and basketball, and was usually one of the team leaders in strategy and had a better than average ability for shooting baskets. I also played quarterback and had a good arm, strong and accurate, but I lacked the physical makeup to be really great. My reflexes just weren't there, my mental quickness was just a tad wanting. Seeing "the entire playing field" was just too much for me. Today I refer to that state as being in sensory overload, where I just can't handle one more piece of information, that feeling of being on the edge, desperately balancing to remain standing and still all these objects are flying past me, tempting me to try to grab just one more, but being unable to do so, as all my efforts are focused on just remaining upright with what I already have. And those well meaning people in my life who keep throwing things my way for me to grab onto just add to that level of panic and frustration. Expectations of travel, and more involvement in outside activities, such as amusements parks, and camping trips, and yard work, and weekend study groups, and vacations, and holidays, and picking up the guitar again and playing different places, etc. etc. etc. Granted, some of these are even my own expectations, and some those of my children, and wife, and friends, and at least for today, it just seems so overwhelming to me. I am feeling so "unable" today, that it makes me tired just thinking of it. It makes me want to just stay in bed and sleep. I know this is simply avoidance, I know that taking action is the solution, but I also know that acknowledging these feelings is a first step to acceptance, and so I am writing it down in black and white.

My first love was music, and I spent hours practicing the guitar, and singing in every group that our school music program offered, and had aspirations of being a performer. I wrote songs, played the local clubs and coffee houses, but never achieved any great mass acceptance as an artist. I mainly played for fun, for friends, for religious events, etc. I put the guitar down several years ago, picking it up rarely over the last 10 years, and each time of course, noticing how much more the voice has deteriorated, how uncoordinated the fingers are becoming, though still adequate. My voice has taken the biggest hit. Sitting at home for some many years with no reason to really talk, and not wanting to anyway, my voice really suffered. When I did my first public talk last year, I had to practice talking for a couple of weeks before going in order to build up my voice enough to last for the 45 mins. I planned to talk. I was hoarse within 10 mins. as there was no amplification and I had to project using only my voice. When I spoke a couple of weeks ago, I had made sure there would be a microphone so I would be able to last the 45 mins. of my talk, and still it was obvious my voice was worn out.

I have moments of wanting to play my guitar more often these days, but seldom do I actually get it out and play. I must make that a part of my weekly schedule I think. I do love playing and making music, and the fact that I have allowed myself to let it sit makes me sad.

I was out walking yesterday and stopped in at a yard sale, and got to talking with the man there, and he complimented me on my activities to regain my health. He was the second person who made a point to talk to me that morning about my physical recovery. Just shortly before another man had driven up and drove beside me in his truck while he talked to me. He said he had quit smoking a while back and had put on some extra pounds. He asked how I had lost all that weight. I told him I stopped eating over emotional issues, planned 3 balanced meals a day and started exercising. He told me to keep it up, it was working and that he would have to do something like that also. I had never met either of these people before, so I'll take that as a sign from HP.

The man at the yard sale turned out to be a musician, and we talked for about half a hour I guess, about music, about computers, about producing CD's of his bands music and about creating a website for his band. He also runs an open music night at a local park, which I am strongly considering going to tomorrow night.. :-) just to listen of course. He is also a carpenter and I talked about some work I needed done on my house and his wife was a massage therapist, another service we use on occasion. It was a very fortuitous meeting. I'm glad I walked the half a block out of my way to go check out their yard sale. I realize now it was my HP nudging me to go cause I normally would not have, but something just made me want to go there yesterday. Life is good!

And yet, here I was feeling down and depressed, but all I can seem to write about is the good things that have happened to me recently. There must be a lesson here huh?

Yes, I'm getting older. Yes, my mind is losing it's agility. Yes, my physical responses are less than when I was young, but I guess that's just how it's gonna be. I have some fear about losing my memory, about someday not knowing who my loved ones are, but I just have to remain "in the day". I'll do what I can to prolong my vitality, but as with the program, the results won't be up to me. All I can do is what I can do... a sometimes sobering thought, but one which I ultimately have to draw strength from.

I heard from a good friend this morning, one who continues to inspire me to keep working on my inner being, my spiritual self. He shares his fears and shortcomings with me, but also his drive and strength to continue, and it gives me strength to continue also.

There is a part of me that wishes to be more self-reliant, that being so would make me stronger, better, more worthy, and yet, I know if I am not relying on my Higher Power first, then all else is for naught. It is that struggle that keeps me ever vigilant on keeping my spiritual connection strong. Relying on myself took me to the brink, why do I still think the answer is in self and not in God?

I am going to get my guitar out and play today.
I am going to be happy today.

Stay Strong!

love and hugs,

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