Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Add a Tool to My Toolbox


Here’s your chance my Hooligan’s, your chance to run to another blog.  This may turn out to be long only because I don’t know exactly where it’s headed.  It’s one of my “back to the roots” posts, where I allow my mind to journal and think.  At the end, fun!  I promise.
source

The other day, I did something I never thought I’d ever do.  I attended an AA meeting.  Wow, just wow.  From the moment I stepped out of my car to the moment I said good-bye, I felt welcomed, loved, and a sense of belonging.  It was truly amazing.

I don’t know why I feared anything different.  We treat newcomers to S-Anon the same way, yet I was still scared to attend.  I was afraid because I’ve been drug free for so long, they wouldn’t understand why I was there, but there was no inquisition.  No one asked why I was there. They simply accepted my need to attend a meeting.

I was greeted with a bright smile and hello in the parking lot and accompanied to the door.  I was welcomed to a table and invited to sit down.  The fear of cliques dissipated as I watched people go from table to table and hug one another, men and women alike greeted each other, introduced themselves, and got older attendees their coffee.  I was surprised to feel a smile on my face in a place I had been so nervous to be not even five minutes before.

For months I have been missing something.  Something inside me is no longer able to hang on to the peace and serenity I found after I worked my fourth step.  I lost my emotional sobriety and I miss it terribly.  I long for it back.

What is emotional sobriety?  For me, it’s being able to feel my feelings.  All of them and handle them properly, without a constant feeling of discontent and unsettlement.  It’s so hard to explain once you’ve reached a place of calm and that calm feeling has left.  It’s like having an empty pit within you.

I’m not running around screaming at people but the desire to do it is there.  It has happened a time or two with Devin where I’ve made snarky comments and that’s not healthy for either one of us.

I knew it had to do with Devin’s recovery.  He has reached a plateau, according to our counselor, and without a change in his treatment plan, he is in danger of another relapse.  His behavior has become erratic as he works his fourth step and while I understand this on a rational level, it’s hard to understand as the person living with him.  He understands the need for changes and he makes them but then reverts back to old habits. 

Instead of being able to distance myself, instead of finding the compassion I’ve had in the past as a fellow addict, I became frustrated and impatient.  I am more like Veruca Salt, I wanted it NOW!  I still stayed out of his recovery, I still stayed out of his collecting and buying habit but I no longer fight fairly.  I am allowing myself to be baited instead of walking away.  I am engaging in behavior that isn’t healthy for me.

I know I cannot change him.  Only he can change himself.  This meant something needed to be done for me.  There was something I needed to do, another tool I needed to add to my toolbox but I wasn’t sure what.  Then I realized I needed to address my core issues, sure, I was sober but I’m still an addict.

An addict who never addressed her addiction with any type of counseling or any type of program.  I just quit drugs cold turkey and considered myself magically cured.  It was through the S-Anon program that I realized it doesn’t work like that, not even close bub!

I chose that particular meeting because of the time and location and it was truly a God send.  I left feeling less empty inside.  My spiritual cup had been filled.  Not my religious cup, my spiritual cup.  There is a difference.  Again, hard to explain unless you’ve sat in on a meeting.  There is so much hope, so much love, so much understanding and so much compassion.  It’s like getting a giant hug and knowing you’re not alone.  Even though you don’t quite know what’s wrong inside, you’re not alone.

I’m not sure this made sense but I wanted to share it just the same.

Now for the fun stuff I promised.  I was watching my beloved Fox News and saw a highlight of the Harlem Shake.  Take time to laugh today, my friends, I did:

NSFW


64 comments:

  1. While I don't understand what it is to be an addict or to live with one, I do understand feeling off-kilter. Ooooh and am I off-kilter these day.

    Finding that center of peace and staying there is a hard thing to do and with Devins behaviour it makes it more difficult for you. I'm glad you went to an AA meeting and found solace.

    Now, folks, this is the ONLY comment I'm making today. Elsie doesn't post often and I'm not blogging till next week. So don't get pissy with me people. Told ya I'm off kilter :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I can't blame you for not commenting anywhere else, after reading one of her hour long whines most any one your age would need a week's break LMAO oh two birds with one stone, the cat is on a roll today!

      Delete
    2. Being off-kilter sucks ass! I'm sorry you're experiencing that feeling too. I'm going to blame the winter weather compounding it all too. We had more snow over the weekend that killed the one daffodil that managed to bloom. Grrrr.

      I'm so grateful I found that meeting and I'm looking forward to the next one.

      I admit, I feel extra special right about now. Being the only one you're commenting on. No wonder the cat is so jealous he feels the need to try and take shots at us.

      Hey cat, I think you are stoned!

      Delete
    3. oh, methinks this is the time to bombard Annzie's Facebook profile with silly pictures and LOLcats :) That is what I always do when she feels down and wants to leave the internet :)

      Delete
    4. LOL need to choose my words more carefully, even one eyed people catch on.

      Delete
    5. I think it may be time for me to get a Facebook account, huh Dezz?

      I'm a lot smarterer than you think, cat!

      Delete
    6. Look at you all, having fun while I'm feeling like shit. Keep doing it, you're making me laugh.

      Delete
    7. Anything to make our dearest friend happy. If we can't bring on Spring, we can at least do this.

      Delete
  2. I just clicked the Harlem shake video, my two young daughters came running over to see what the music was, it was only then I noticed (and them too) the man in the pink jumpsuit and what he had hanging about, well it made them laugh anyway and I spilt my tea all over the keyboard in panic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh crap! I should have put a disclaimer! I just fixed it and put NSFW above it. You'd think I would have known seeing how I had to put my hand over the monitor when we watched it with my daughter. It took me a few seconds to notice him too. *eye roll*

      I'M SORRY RAY!!!!!! I hope I didn't scar your daughters for life!!!

      Delete
    2. Look at that, you got a pink pecker on your blog. That is really funny.

      Delete
    3. I feel so terrible that I may have corrupted Ray's daughters, Whisk! But, it is funny!

      Delete
    4. What's even funnier to me, is the peckers showed up on your blog before they showed up on mine.

      Ha.

      Delete
    5. That is funny! And there was no plotting and scheming going on either ha ha ha

      Delete
    6. My poor girls are scarred for life!

      Delete
  3. Well I'm glad you were able to recognise the problems, and do something to address them. And of course, that it all went so well. You can't just quit drugs cold turkey and be done, you can't quit anything like that, because there are psychological reasons people do these things as well as physical. If the psychological is not dealt with, then things are never truly over. You're on your way to doing that though, and I've felt the emotional place you're in. Or at least I suspect I have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have the psychological reasons all figured out. I have FOO issues and then after Senior died I got knocked off kilter and my counselor agrees but without that support around me, I'm still not quite "fulfilled". Had I sought help in the beginning, I may have made better choices way back when....

      I'm glad you also have had that feeling too, Mark. It means that you can find it again.

      Delete
  4. I hope that Devin can get past this plateau and continue his hard work. It would suck to have him have a relapse now and have to start over again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he'll be able to get past the plateau. We went to couples counseling last night and the counselor suggested he get himself into group counseling and he agreed to start next week. =)

      Delete
  5. That video is hilarious, thanks for the smiles ~

    I am glad you found kinship and welcome in the meeting. You are right, no one can change themselves but themselves. The compulsion to change and be a better person must come from within.

    Wishing you a happy day & week ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the video, Heaven!

      It was a great meeting and I'm looking forward to the next one. It took a long time for me to realize that I can't force change in Devin. I sure tried it though but it only backfired on me LOL

      Have a great week!!

      Delete
  6. Love the video, such fun at you show.

    Glad you found some extra support to start getting back in line, but don't go getting to ordinary, then the cat would have no one to pick at haha And yep, can't help anyone who won't help themselves first, always will be that way. You sure aren't in that category as you step away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The video is hysterical! My son is going to try and get his friends to do it when he goes to a rave this month. Just people having a blast and being goofy.

      Don't worry, I will never be normal, just serene. The cat will always have someone to pick on. I tried to force Devin to fix himself but the only thing that happened was both of us ended up frustrated and disappointed. He wants it, he just has to figure it out on his own and he is making strides. That post will be coming up soon. I'll make it extra long just for you.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the heads up, now the cat knows when to schedule nap time..lol

      Delete
    3. I'll make sure to sprinkle it with cat nip so you can't resist!

      Delete
  7. Love that you found support in the meeting. I accompanied a family member to an AA meeting once and was struck by the welcoming atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you went with a family member to a meeting, OE! What a great support system your family member has! I was amazed at how welcomed I felt, like I had been there dozens of times before. It was like nothing I've felt before.

      Delete
  8. I'm so glad the meeting helped fill your spiritual cup, as you put it. As they say at the end of every meeting "Keep coming back!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "It works if you work it"

      It was a great feeling, Debra. I now have a bit of that feeling still left to reach into for strength and the more I go, the more I'll have. =)

      Delete
  9. People who need help and support are usually the ones who will offer them to other people first too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are spot on, Dezz! I think it's why I enjoy my outreach work in S-Anon so much =)

      I think I was fearing the unknown more than anything else. Maybe rejection too?

      Delete
  10. I do not understand this Harlem Shake business. Seriously, I don't. I'm seeing it everywhere, now, and all I can do is blink and walk away.

    As for feelings of discontent, etc:
    No one that stays at a place of peace and calm ever actually produces anything of note. It is only through our unease that creativity and genius is born.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the whole idea of the Harlem Shake. I think it's great to have a group of people get together and have harmless fun. Much better than the mobs that are going around robbing vendors.

      Emotional sobriety isn't about staying at peace and content forever. If you are in a constant state of peace, you are in denial. It's about being able to feel your feelings, handle them properly and not remain in a constant state of discontent - that's where I was. A constant state of discontent and no creativity can come from that.

      Delete
  11. I love these Harlem Shake videos Elsie, so awesome! I've never considered emotional sobriety before but it's something that I should look into, I guess I haven't been emotionally sober in a long time. Wonderful of you to attend that AA meeting, good on you for that though, it's interesting to hear how welcoming and friendly the meetings are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a ton of information out there that you can look into if you want, Matthew. I didn't learn about emotional sobriety until I was well along into my program. I was very lucky to find that meeting the other day and I can't wait for my next one!

      Delete
  12. I was here, I read it, and I have nothing to add. I am still a bit numb. A shell of a man, emotionless and empty inside. Just going through the motions to feel normal again.

    I haven't the desire to read any blogs, even yours. No offense, Elsie. It's not you, it's me. To read and comment on blogs is too much of a chore...one I have little time for. That's why I haven't been posting much. It's no fun anymore. I am only here because I don't want to abandon my favorite readers/bloggers/friends.

    I want to get back in the game, I have much to write about. But what's the point of writing if no one is going to read it because I won't comment on their blogs?

    Maybe a hot bowl of turtle soup would cheer me up and get me back to normal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay, Dan. I get it. I've had to take time away from blogging too. Sometimes life, real life, just has to take precedence over our blogging world. I just hate knowing that you are going through something that has made you feel numb.

      I'm not offended in the least, just concerned. Those of us who know you, who are your friends, will understand your absence. And, if you're writing for the comments, maybe it's time to take that break?

      Comments are fun and a great way to know people have read what you have written but they aren't all that important. The important thing is to have fun while you're writing, to feel passionate about what you're writing no matter what the subject.

      If it means sacrificing yet another one of my turtles to bring back your writing muse, well, then, dammit - go ahead. I will find a way to retaliate. I always do!!

      Delete
  13. Imagine that, a meeting helped an addict. Sorry for the snark, but sometimes I don't make enough meetings and when I finally DO make a new meeting--whoa. (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hardy har har!! Good thing I love you so much! Yeah, imagine, a feeling of welcome in a place of people just like me? Huh? =PP xoxo

      Delete
  14. I feel so dumb Elsie. I had to research that Harlem Shake stuff.....I's weird and I'm confused.

    Why the hell can't I stop watching it? lol.

    Why the hell did I just break out the webcam?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel dumb! How do you think it landed on this blog? I saw it on the news and had to research it too. I wasted more time than I care to admit watching it the other night.

      I can't wait to see it posted on your blog!

      Delete
  15. You're such a courageous woman. You inspire us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks. I appreciate that immensely and feel the same way about you!

      Delete
  16. oh dear Im a little worry about you although you are brave and special but we allñ are humans .
    My dear turtle you can!! Take a break, breath a little, be happy and dont think so much!
    Days a go I was really worry by a friend (Im so with close friends) but later I notice I cant live always worry about him.
    He has to make something to help himself!!
    You can support, heard and be kind and nice, always I try but if this person dont answer you nothing to do.
    But you always are kind and nice Elsie not matter how you feeling and love this of you!
    Send you huggs and love and prayers and Im here :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are such a sweetheart, Gloria. No need to worry about me, I'm doing so much better now. I have a great network of friends to reach out to, I have my blogging community, and I know I'm not alone. The good news is, he's going to be going to group therapy and that should help him immensely. You're right, Gloria. You can't always worry because when you do, it is so very draining!

      Delete
    2. Anyway I always worry by my friends I think is part of love!

      Delete
    3. That is because you are so sweet and kind, Gloria!!

      Delete
  17. Even though I have no idea what it is like to be an addict I found this post very informative and enjoyed reading it.....so thank you for that.............what I do know is that life is full of ups and downs and it is how we handle the downs that make us who we are and some of those downs are bloody hard to deal with.....you are such an amazing woman to cope as well as you do.....I am so lucky to have found you and your blog...........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thank you very much for that, Jo-Anne, I truly do. I don't find myself amazing or any different than anyone else on this earth. I'm doing the best I can with what I have been given. I am grateful you found this post informative. That inspires me to keep on writing about tough stuff like this. Thank you again!

      Delete
  18. It's so true. You might quit the stuff but you're still an addict. I'm seeing it first hand with a family member right now who had been off alcohol for twenty years then started again with a glass of wine. Now she's an embarrassment to go out with to a public restaurant because two glasses of wine or even three or four aren't enough. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, I'm so sorry you're going through this with a family member L. That really hurts my heart to hear. I hope that she will be able find sobriety once again because it is so hard on the family to watch and not be able to do anything. My heart goes out to you.

      Delete
  19. Sometimes something as simple as a meeting can better your feelings. I remember as soon as I new what it was, I wanted my dad to continue with his meetings. I guess I still took from it a sense of empathy from an addict's point of view, and that's helped me help others. Good feelings. Happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being able to have that sense of empathy is a huge help. I think it's why I'm so empathetic with Devin and his addiction because of my own. Seeing it from both sides really has made a difference and I'm sure you saw a difference in your dad when he attended his meetings too.

      Delete
  20. Glad to hear your experience at the meeting good to know that the love patience and tolerance showing through

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was an awesome experience and I'm so happy I went.

      Delete
  21. Controlling your emotions can be hard, whether you're an addict or not. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and ask for help. I applaud that.

    Also, while I find it extremely amusing, you will not find either of us doing any form of Harlem Shake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I absolutely hate asking for help and that came out during my fourth step - we have to take a fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Gah! The things I discovered about myself.

      To bad, I expect a post about the two of you doing the Harlem Shake next week, with a video to prove it!! Okay, fine, a cartoon.

      Delete
  22. i have been to quite a few AA meetings and its always been cool...been to a few NA as well...mostly with kids i was working with because they feared going alone...not knowing what to expect...addiction is a life long program you know...with ups and downs...and a few plateus...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could have sworn I commented on this, Brian! I am so sorry! My deepest apologies!

      I'm so glad you work with kids going through the programs. It is a scary thing to walk through into the rooms alone, not knowing what expect, it's very daunting. I commend you. My mistake was thinking it was an over and done with deal. I quit cold turkey and thought, well, I'm all fixed. Not so much!

      Delete
  23. Send you love and huggs Elsie, rain a lot here but I love it:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same to you, Gloria! I saw your comment, thought I replied back and didn't. I had a Migraine and then was down and out for the count and went over to the other blog - I am so sorry!!!! xoxo

      I saw your pictures and I love them but hate that you had rain. The pictures of the twins are great =)))

      Delete
  24. Hugs!! I'm facing my own turmoil and am finally trying to get healthy. This community of people here in the blogosphere had a lot to do with that. You all are so wonderful and supportive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry you are facing turmoil, Melissa. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people and it was totally unexpected too. I wish you all the best and will be popping in on you to offer my support as well. Hugs back!!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.