That Area…you know, that hurts!

That Area…you know, that hurts!

Completely and utterly blessed!

It is so very easy for me to say this when I am having a good day or more importantly things are going MY way.  If it’s not going my way then I am a very large 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum both in my head and to everyone that will listen to me and not want to listen to me, just let it go.

I don’t know why I do this, maybe because I haven’t grew out of that little child within me or maybe it’s because I just feel like I am right (That’s the sales person in me), or maybe it’s because I just like to debate…and that just boils down to wanting to be right.

Ever just come across a person that just irks you, that makes you lose control of what you say or do…it’s just an automatic reaction?

There is someone that I know that gets so under my skin and I love this person very much.  So many of my friends, family, and my sponsor say that the qualities that I see in this person is what I harbor in me and that is why it bothers me so much that I cannot control myself.  I practice a program and they do not, so I have to hold myself to different standards.

Most people in recovery will tell you…if it makes you feel something then you should look at it or what step are you practicing?  When it comes to this person I do not practice steps.  This person is controlling, selfish, and self-centered.  There is always motives when they do something.  When they are nice there is always a hidden agenda.  They will tell you they love you and that they care, but the only way to show it is to buy you something and then throw it in your face.  Love is not materialist anyway.

Overtime, after knowing them you see the real them…and I was always asked if you know they act like this, then why do you let it bother you so much?  You can say that I hold them to a different standard, I seek their approval, that I want to see them happy, but yet nothing ever makes them happy.

ENOUGH! THIS IS THE PROBLEM….WELL WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

The solution is within me, it’s my decision, my choices to entertain such negativity.  If they are exactly like me, an addict, but they do not have the drugs or hit their bottom yet to know they have these issues then I have to compassionate.  I have to listen to what is being said to me and not just react to everything that comes out their mouth or what they do.

I was told that if they are use to me being defensive, argumentative, and verbally aggressive than that is what they always expect of me.  How can you change anything if you do not do something different?

Step 1 – I cannot control them only myself and my reactions.

Step 2 – Do something different.  Instead of run at the mouth or cause myself grief; listen, be more agreeable, be loving towards a person that is sick.

Step 3 – Trust that the differences that I do portray will change the relationship dynamic.

Caveat: I do not have to accept the unacceptable!

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Hold up?  What does that mean?  I do not have to be a doormat.  Being agreeable does not mean letting them just walk on me and being taken advantage of.  For me, it’s always been all or nothing.  I do something and give it my all or I just will not do it.  Remembering that caveat protects me from going to extremes when trying to practice the steps that I have in my life.

There is so much more that I could say about this, but really that sums it up.  Its really just that simple.  The program I am in is just that simple.  I do not practice this perfectly, but it’s getting better.  If any part of this post has reached you, if you are still reading and going….wow, Andrea I know what you mean I can relate to this; I have a person in my life exactly like this and I do not know what to do…then just stop, know that you have a choice.

 

 

 

Ego, Pride…and a relationship?

Ego, Pride…and a relationship?

I have been focusing on the past or at least reflecting on the past and incorporating it into today’s issues; let’s fast forward to right now though.

I need to get this out!  I want to discuss something that is very current in my life right now.  Actually, there is a lot I want to discuss that is very current, but I want you to understand about me and my struggles of my past during active addiction.  Otherwise, I am just another crazy person out there rambling.

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I am overwhelmed.  I am struggling.  I am in fear and not operating in faith.  How does a person who has conquered so much in her life say that I am crippled in fear?  Fear of failure, fear of success…change, that is what is really the root of it.

How many times can you say, I faced my fear and overcame it?  I can say that it has happened a lot in my life.  When I do face it head on there is nothing but positive that radiates from the experience.  Even if the experience might have not turned out a complete success there is always something to be learned.

Right now, at this very time in my life, I can tell you about every bad thing from the financials that I am drowning in, to the lack of effort on both sides of the relationship with my sponsor and I, to the complete fear of making the decisions necessary in my life to change it.  For anyone who is in recovery or new to recovery, yes you can even experience a bottom clean.  This is new to me though, but the beautiful aspect of it all, the hope shot as we call it is, I can choose what my bottom is and I can change it at any time.

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What I am really struggling with is I AM HARD HEADED AND STUBBORN.  I have this situation in my life (ok, well a couple of them actually) where I need help.  What’s new, right?  The real problem lies within my ego and pride actually.

Pride…Ego! No, not me!  I have low self worth how can I ever have an ego?!

I think I can do this all myself…EGO!  I do not need help…EGO!

When I was with my son’s father he handled everything, he did everything, I didn’t even know how to pay bills or balance a checkbook (which thank god for online account because I still am pretty horrible at it), as a result he referred to me as one of his children, which I resented him for that for many years. Hindsight is 20/20 though, finally understanding that I was a child in every way.  I acted like a child, I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it and went to any length to get it. When I left him I didn’t know how to do much, to pay bills on time or even pay them at all for that matter or anything else that adults do.

From that point on I vowed to myself that I would not let another man take care of me.  Where I come from or what my lifestyle consisted of was money always brought some form of power or manipulation.  In recovery, we strive to become fully self supporting declining outside contributions. I am a very literal type of person, so to me that statement means I should be able to do this on my own, to be able to work this tradition.

In actuality, this mean I should be able to get to the point where I can do this on my own.  Basically, what I am learning is as long as I am doing THE BEST I can that sometimes we need help and when God blesses me with the help do not deny it or it blocks other blessings.  I cannot wrap my mind around this.  There is always a catch, right?  There is always some ulterior motive, right?

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At work they gave us a little pot with dirt in it.  We are all growing plants at our desk.  Mine starting sprouting and it sprouted fast and tall, but thin and weak.  It died.  I gave up on the seedling, it withered to the dirt.  I placed my little green pot on the window seal at work and left for the weekend.

What the heck does this have anything to do with what you were talking about Andrea?

To my surprise I came to work on Monday and there was a strong seedling with bigger leaves and a thicker stem growing!  The moral of the story is, things are not always as they seem.  Sometimes when I rush to get things done or try to hurry through them because I think I can do it all myself that can cause that opportunity to die.  But when I can add a different perspective and take my time in a situation a strong foundation is able to be built and flourish.

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I don’t know if that made sense or not, but when I came in on Monday and saw that seedling sprouting (I named my seedling Bertha) all I could think of is how I related to my situation, were it needed the help of the sun to warm the soil and the water I gave it to help it grow.  It needed the help or the beautiful plant couldn’t grow.  The only remedy to pride and ego is humility.  That is admitting and accepting help when it is truly needed, that is part of loving yourself and having a healthy relationship with yourself.  I am not the great I am!

Today is a new day, new blessings, new start, new chances.

 

 

Too Much Too Handle…Expectations on Ourselves

Too Much Too Handle…Expectations on Ourselves

“I am suppose to be further in life! Why haven’t I been able to do this right?  She did it this way, why wasn’t I able to do it like that? I am suppose to be making this much money, man I am such a stupid loser.”

Ever say this?  I know I have; sometimes a little bit too much.  I am always hard on myself.  I AM my worst critic.

When I was on drugs, I literally thought I was going to die high and there was no way around that.  What I thought about myself was not the greatest…I am too fat or I was a failure was the two biggest thoughts that constantly went across my mind.  Even getting high though, I had these preconceived notions, visions even for the way my life was suppose to turn out – Graduate at 18, go to college graduate at 23, get married at 25 and babies and a house by 28.  That was one heck of a plan and so much pressure I put on myself.  If I didn’t achieve this I was a failure.

This plan, these…expectations, set me up for resentments towards myself as well as others.  What I have learned in the last few years about resentments are that it always stems from me or a situation that happened in my life that started with… well me.  The choices I made in my life caused my life to go in a completely different direction.  Until I was able to let that go, to ACCEPT that things happen in life and it is not always going to turn out the way we EXPECTED.

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Needless to say, the only thing that has rang true with the vision of my life was that I graduate high school at 18.  Shortly after 18, I became a stripper, but because stripper was a dirty word to me I called myself a “visual entertainer.” I was determined to show my parents that I could survive on my own, whatever it took.  That was a very short career for me because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, I am a people pleaser, and it disappointed my dad.  Thinking I should be able to take on the world by myself, at age 18, was a very silly notion.

I am getting off topic a little, that will be for another post.  Due to the decision to work there and make it on my own, I got hung up in a lifestyle that takes a lot of people out of this world in a box.  One day in 2013, I woke up and looked around me; I was in an abusive relationship, in an empty apartment, I felt empty inside, and my relationships I had with other people were just as empty as the apartment I was living in was.

Now, completely off drugs and living a “normal” life (what is normal, anyway?), I have a whole different set of expectations.  Why can’t I figure this out?  I am 3 years clean, I shouldn’t be acting this way.  They are 3 years clean and on step 6, why am I only on step 5?  I should have a great paying job, graduated college and starting to pay off my debt by now, my Lord I am 32 what’s wrong with me?  Why am I never enough?

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Why is it so hard for people to just accept life and live in the present?  Living in the present is a very hard concept, but if it can be done, will release a person from the expectations we put on ourselves.  Expectations have always caused me to self hate giving me the lack of self acceptance. I have learned to not place expectations on others because I do not want to be let down, but when it comes to me, it is so very hard.  In fact, 95% of the time the expectations on myself are what causes my greatest pains.

I was on the way to work today and was thinking, (That generally can get me in trouble.) but when you have a 40 minute commute there is plenty of time to think.  It hit me, everything stops in my life as a result of this.  Just looking back on my life the past couple of weeks it has become evident of this.  What I mean by this is because I think I should be able to do everything on my own, carry everything and be able to do it all flawlessly, I fail to realize that life can be harsh sometimes.  Recently, I have had a few “abrupt turns” in my path in life which has landed me completely stressed to the point of making myself sick and in the ER, dizzy from dehydration and bronchitis.

I say all this to make a point; to myself and whomever else this may reach, that I can’t carry this all by myself.  I expect perfection from an imperfect world and it causes nothing but depression, not eating, not sleeping, not drinking, and in the hospital.  It’s time to take life back.  Yes the bills might not get paid on time, yes I might not be a perfect recovery addict, yes I might have to make changes in my life to adapt to what is happening, and yes I MIGHT HAVE TO ACCEPT HELP.

Wooo boy, accept help, that’s a rough one!  Today, let’s look at life differently and let’s give ourselves a break.