Wednesday, January 1

A New Year A New Plan

Goals for 2014:

1.  Weigh 50 pounds less by January 1, 2015.
2.  Decrease my cholesterol to normal levels.
3.  Sleep without the aid of an APAP.

Affirmations:

1.  I am worthy of taking time to care for my mind, body, and spirit.
2.  I have to take care of myself first so I will be able to care for others.
3.  I can resist the temptations that arise by using my tools.

Gratitude:

1.  God
2.  Family
3.  Friends
4.  Church
5.  Pets

Thursday, June 20

Character Defects?

So, after lots of thought, I finally told my counselor that one of my major character defects is laziness.  She disagreed, and kindly pointed out all of the things I do that prove that I AM NOT LAZY. 

That was months ago, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.  I was called lazy as a child, and I'm working now on not believing that lie.

What my counselor said next shook me to the core.  She said that SARCASM is one of my principle character defects.  I'm sure I replied with a snarky comment.

After sitting in silence for what seemed an eternity, my counselor called my name.  I was staring at a creepy sketch of a screaming monkey and she seemed to be very far away.  I think she called me several times before I realized it.  She wanted to know what I was thinking.

I began to cry, and feel really, really stupid.  Who cries about crap like this?!  I guess someone who uses sarcasm as her chief coping mechanism, that's who. 

Finally, I answered, "I don't know what would be left [to protect me] without sarcasm.

I left that night with the assignment to ask my husband help me identify when I was using sarcasm, as I often don't realize it myself.

A month later, I returned to her office feeling quite silly, and pissed off at myself.  How could I reach the age of 37 without knowing that my words are powerful, often very hurtful, and don't truly protect me at all.  I had a breakthrough.

I've been working on dropping sarcasm when I am hurt, threatened, angry, or just at a loss for words.  As always, this is a work in progress.

Wednesday, November 28

Getting Started

I met with my counselor last night.  Yes, I'm in counseling.  We talked about the Thanksgiving holiday break, family stress, me not doing the assignments she gave me in our last session, and me having trouble starting tasks.

In last month's session, I was supposed to drag out my Step 4 inventory and make a list of character defects.  I also agreed to exercise with my kids daily.  I fully intended to do the assignments, but didn't get very far. 

I took out my inventory and begrudgingly thumbed through it, once.  I also took my kids on a bike ride to the park.  The trip to the park ended with a 45 minute tantrum by 4 year-old.  I didn't pick up the inventory or touch the bikes again.

My reluctance starting tasks is rooted in my desire for perfection and completion.  If I cannot complete a project perfectly, I'd rather not try.  My mind is like a one way track--start at the beginning and hopefully don't derail on the way to the final destination.  There is only one acceptable ending.  Any divergence from the goal is failure.  If I foresee failure I avoid the task.

I am working now to change my mind from a one way track to something more like a Rube Goldberg machine.  Sounds silly, I know.  The flow chart of my mind needs to have several acceptable paths to success.  Sure, they may not be the most efficient paths, but the paths still get to the goal, eventually.  When my path seem overwhelming or diverges from the straight one way track onto one of Goldberg's machines I can't allow frustration, anger, depression to lead to avoidance. 

I realized a few years ago that I do best with projects that that I can complete in a relatively short period of time and that don't have to be perfect.  This is why I don't scrapbook and why I do make cakes.  Scrapbooking is never ending, and I'm never happy with what I've made. I find myself reworking pages and eventually giving up altogether. A cake has to be completed and presented, even if I think it looks like crap.  I'm rarely fully satisfied with a cake, but I can still count it as a success.  I learn from my cake mistakes so I do better the next time.

My counselor encouraged me to break tasks down into small portions and give myself credit for completing each portion.  So far this morning, I snuggled with my girls, took the dog out, cleaned the kitchen table, made breakfast and ate with my kids, brushed my teeth, cleaned off my school table, washed the pan I used to make my egg, read my devotion, checked email, completed math with Little Man, and science with Tater, helped Baby Bee get dressed, and did a science experiment with the kids, all while blogging intermittently. It really didn't seem like I had accomplished much until I wrote it out.  Wouldn't my path to completing this blog entry make a good Rube Goldberg machine drawing or Family Circus cartoon?

I need to help the kids finish their lessons, put on some real pants (I'm wearing Sponge Bob pj's), start SOME laundry, put away SOME folded laundry, fold SOME more laundry, and make lunch.  I don't expect to finish with Mount Foldmore today, but that is okay.  After lunch (and after real pants) I think I'll take the kids out for a walk, assign their chores, plan and begin dinner, go to the drug store, and get the car washed.  I need to fit a shower into the list somewhere.

All of that seem overwhelming to me, so I'm going to take it small bites.  It is okay if I don't finish all that I mentioned.  It is okay things aren't perfect.  I am going to try anyway.

Friday, November 9

VI

Tonight I celebrated my sixth birthday.  Okay, not my sixth bellybutton birthday, but my sixth recovery birthday.  I received a bronze medallion with a big "VI" on it to mark the occasion. 

The lesson tonight was about gratitude.  I am so grateful for Celebrate Recovery!

Monday, May 21

I Heart Guts Cake






I made this cake in honor of my brother's graduation from medical school. 
Congrats to Dr. Cabbagehead!

Friday, January 13

Become What You Believe

So, I signed up for daily Bible readings to be sent to me via email.  Part of my reading this morning was this:
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”;  and their sight was restored.  Matthew 9:29-30  NIV
 A different version reads like this: 
He touched their eyes and said, "Become what you believe." It happened. They saw.  Matthew 9:29-30 The Message
I often struggle with what I believe.  Lord, help my unbelief, so I can become what you want me to be.

Thursday, January 12

Reboot

Tuesday evening I went to my Celebrate Recovery Leaders' Meeting. The fellowship was refreshing, but I was more than a little nervous and preoccupied by what I planned to do at that meeting.

After the Ministry Leader spoke (a challenging and encouraging message) he opened the floor for questions and comments. After a while, I stood and announced to the group that I will no longer be a CR Leader, and will not be working in Celebration Station with the elementary age kids or in The Landing with the teens. I explained that I have lost myself in service. I have been placing everything else in front of my recovery, and that my relationship with God has suffered. I need to reboot. I received lots of hugs and encouragement when the meeting was over.

This morning I got an email from the Leadership thanking me for my service and wishing me well as I work on my personal journey. There are no hard feelings, only love and support.

One of the things I have been neglecting is journaling.  I'm letting go of the notion that I have to journal complete descriptions of how I feel or what I experience. A few words will suffice. Journaling has to have priority in my day if I wish to remain on the right path.

Daily devotion is of great importance to my recovery. I check my email daily, so I have devotions sent to me there. I just have to quiet myself enough to read and soak in the message.

If I rely on my skewed view of the world, I am bound to get lost again. Regular time reading God's Word is essential, but I often go months without reading my Bible. I'm learning that establishing a routine for desired behaviors is necessary. I can utilize my computer to access BibleGateway every day, or I can arrive at my kids school early and use the extra time sitting in the car to read. If neither of those happen, I can break open my Bible after the kids go to bed, instead of wasting away in front of the television.

On Sunday, I made a commitment to work on weight loss. I have drastically cut out dairy and meat products. My diet now consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, and grains. I dusted off my old juicer and have a big glass of veggie and fruit juice between healthy meals. So far, it is working. I've lost three pounds, and other than the cold I caught from my kids, I'm feeling pretty good.

The devotion I read this morning was about fear. If I am fearful about something, I am not trusting God with that area of my life. Today I fear that I will lose momentum with eating healthy. I fear that I will gorge myself on hamburgers,fries, cheese (I love cheese), pizza, sweets, butter (mmmmm), pasta, white rice...

God, I don't want to live in fear. Please help me surrender my eating habits to you and your plan for my life. I want to serve you and walk the path you have prepared for me. Thank you for giving me the tools I need to live a healthy happy life. Help me to use those tools. Amen.