Thursday, April 3, 2014

"C" is for Change: A-Z Challenge

C is for Change

illustrated by Rob Z Tobor
“Why does all the crappy stuff happen to me?”

“I’m so devastated.  Will I ever recover from my husband’s affairs?”

“Why do you punish me, God?”

Those questions ran through my head when I found out my husband was a sex addict.  I didn’t think anyone would understand what I was going through.  But a quick Google search proved I wasn’t alone.  I found a couple websites and forums dedicated to recovering from a partner’s sex addiction.  Except we weren’t recovering, we were stuck in a victim mentality.  A woe’s me mindset. I was happy to find these sites, and I joined in on their sadness.  Misery loves company.  C’mon in folks, the water’s warm from our tears.

For months, I swam in a sea of unhappiness.  I whined and complained right along with everyone else.  I mean, hell, I had a right.  I’d been betrayed.  I deserved to wallow.

The only problem - I had no one on the shore throwing me a life preserver.  Everyone seemed happy where they were in their recovery; stuck in a cesspool of victimization. 

I needed a change.  I couldn’t stay this miserable and angry any longer!

I realized why I was remaining so down.  I surrounded myself with unhappy people who encouraged me to do unhealthy things. They saw no problem with my obsession over Devin’s recovery. They encouraged me to create a fake Facebook account.  The list of unhealthy behaviors is endless but I finally stopped them.

from Bing
I canceled my membership to any place that encouraged unhealthy behavior.  This was the first change that I made. Then I created my first blog as a means of therapy.  I journaled my despair but I also spoke of hope. My second change.

I wanted to be a victor, not a victim. I needed change.  I took the focus off of my husband and placed it squarely on me. The best change I ever made.  Sure, it was hard. I strayed from time to time. But once my attention was shifted I felt so much better.

I transformed from a bitter angry person to a compassionate happy woman.  I am a constant work in progress.

Have you made any major changes? Have you ever felt like a victim?  Were you able to become a victor instead?

And, if there is an easy way to follow bloggers on Wordpress (aside from Google+ and email), can someone gimme a hint, please?

~~~

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?




43 comments:

  1. Some people want to remain miserable and they want you miserable as well. You were wise to step away from the negativity. Nothing good comes from negative people and attitudes.
    And I follow bloggers through Feedly. It was a good replacement for Google Reader when it died.

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    1. It was truly sad to watch people as they struggled through their heartache. It was worse when they couldn't get themselves out of such a horrible cycle.

      I may have to switch to Feedly - gotta get like you, Alex!

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  2. I use Feedly to follow coupon blogs. Works fantastic.

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    1. Another Feedly fan. I think I'll check it out…thanks!

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    2. When I am hunting through coupon blogs, it cuts my time. So easy and quick and I don't get hit with all their adverts, which after awhile, just annoys me.

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  3. I wouldn't know since I generally don't do WordPress

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    1. Me either. But, many of the blogs I have visited through the Challenge use it. I'd love an easy way, aside from email, to follow them.

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  4. It is amazing how many support groups online seem to support misery rather than recovery. I'm glad you realized what was happening and escaped victim hood.

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    1. It's sad.I can't blame anyone for staying though. It can be really hard to pull yourself back up after such betrayal.

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    2. I don't doubt that. I do understand why misery loves company. I'm not immune to this very basic human trait. It's just not in my character to stay that way for long. I crave laughter and positivity even in the worst of times.

      I sincerely hope those people at those groups you were a part of see what you saw. Light leads you out of darkness.

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    3. I'm the same as you, Monkey Man. I need laughter and sunshine. It's hard to stay stuck in misery for too long. But, that doesn't mean it can't happen from time to time. I hope the same thing for the people in those forums. They deserve happiness. We all do.

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  5. Great post, Elsie! More people should have your insight.

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    1. Thanks, Debra. You are far to kind though. =)

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  6. Okay first the following thing; after google reader fell I found inoreader.com. It's worked great for me and it's a nifty little feed reader. Just put the address of the site in there and it'll show posts like Google Reader used to. Any RSS reader will do, but Inoreader is the one I personally use.

    I've never really felt like much of a victim. At least not when I wasn't actually a victim. I'm not a big fan of people who only think of themselves when someone else has a problem that affects them. They should focus instead on helping that person with their problem, which is one of the things you did. So well done you. I'm glad you were able to break away from that.

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    1. Thanks for referring Inoreader. I'll have to take a look at that along with feedly. I think I'm stuck in my ways with GFC. Or, I'm a bit spoiled from it.

      I'm glad you never felt like a victim. You've been through a lot, Mark and have persevered. I agree with you about trying to help the person with the problem. I think we still need to have time to grieve for ourselves for whatever we have lost, but I think it needs to come to an end or it can be detrimental.

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  7. Wonderful encouraging post! You're such a good writer--you had me right there with you, sharing your sorrow. I'm sending prayers that you grow stronger every day and joyful! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jess. That means a lot to hear you talk about my writing. (I write too). I'm grateful for your prayers.

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  8. i follow the wordpress ones on my bloglist like any other, copy and paste the url in, hit follow, easy peasy.

    Yeah, as you know I've changed a ton, stupid body crap under my sun. But have to if we ever want to improve once again

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    1. Well, well, well. I didn't know I could copy the url into Blogger. I figured it wouldn't work. Thanks!

      Health issues can drag us down, Pat. For a while there I was on the verge of staying in my pity party over it. It's hard to watch others be so healthy while we struggle but…meh, what can you do but carry on?

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    2. Very true, have to carry on. Although if someone wanted to take me out behind the barn and shoot me, I wouldn't have stopped them then.

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  9. Wise choice to separate yourself from the ones stuck in negativism. It's those small changes we make that over time build until we get to where we need to be.

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    1. I'm grateful I was able to do it. I agree, TaMara - small changes add up to a big change in ourselves.

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  10. So glad to see you remove the negative and become a healthier, happier person for it. I, too, had an epiphany. I wrote about it here: http://writebackwards.we3dements.com/wordpress/2012/01/09/positivity/

    That was when I knew I needed to be positive.

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

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    1. I just read it. You and I share so many of the same traits and thoughts about the importance of remaining positive. I'm so glad you were there for those woman. They truly needed someone who could keep them informed and remain optimistic. You're brave!

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  11. It is easy to find people who want you to wallow in it, harder to find those who want to help you grow; maybe because growing is hard.
    I follow blogs on bloglovin, for me that is the easiest way to keep up with them all. :)

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    1. You're right, Melanie. Growing is difficult. It's easier to just sit back and do nothing than put in action to feel better.

      Bloglovin, huh? I see that on people's blogs. I'll have to take a gander.

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  12. Leaving my ex to be with Russell was a huge change, and while coming back here has been great for my love life and with my friends, unfortunately my smother and I are like oil and water and she just pushes my buttons and I'm miserable and would love to move back to the west coast to get away from her again. Unfortunately I knew this was gonna happen when I came back. I moved to the west coast to get away when I was 24....I even asked Russell to wait till she was dead for me to move but unfortunately I think she's gonna live forever just to torture me. She's 87.

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    1. Awww! JoJo! I'm so sorry your mom is still giving you a hard time. I remember you commented before about her being pretty demanding of your time. I'm sad she hasn't changed her ways. The silver lining in this cloud is definitely Russell. Hugs!!

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  13. Change is hard. It is much easier to wallow in despair. Glad to see you pulled yourself out of it.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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    1. It was hard and it took a long time. I wanted it to happen overnight but change just doesn't work that way. Thanks, Brandon!

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  14. My favorite way to follow Wordpress, Blogger and other blogs is through Bloglovin. You can order the blogs by theme, which is easier to keep up with everyone. You can also like blog posts. Posts that get the most likes get featured on Bloglovin, which is great to discover new blogs.

    And regarding the rest of your heart-felt post, yes, I felt like a victim too for a long time whenever something went wrong. I didn't realize this at first, but then I started writing books, all of which ended badly and in which everyone was a victim. Thanks to those books, I realized I victimized myself.

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    1. Another vote for Bloglovin'. I do like that you can "like" them. That's a pretty neat feature. One of the reasons I wanted to do the A-Z Challenge was to find new blogs to follow and expand myself. This sounds like a great way.

      I love how you worked through your feelings of victimization by writing your books. Writing has been so cathartic for me. It really let me work through all of my range of emotions.

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  15. Change is so hard sometimes. My years of depression were because I was "comfortable" in the misery. It was too much work to change my attitude about my own tragic event. I'm glad you've started taking those steps to taking your life back into your own hands. Congratulations! It gets easier and easier every day until one day you realize you're whole again.

    Good luck and keep up the change!

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    1. That's a great way to look at how you were when you depressed - comfortable. I think those of us in those forums felt very comfortable wallowing there throwing our pity parties. I'm glad you and I decided to pull ourselves back up again =)

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  16. The best thing to say here is, I'm proud of you. Most people would go a million years before making that realization OR the change.

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    1. Thanks, Chris. I appreciate that greatly. Although, it did make me blush just a bit….

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  17. I admire you for making those steps and changes to your life ~ Ultimately we are responsible for our journey and decisions ~ One major change is happening to me come Monday ~ I am working in a new location, with another department & with more challenging assignments ~ I am looking forward to it come April 7 ~

    Cheers,

    Grace

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    1. I am excited for you, Heaven! I wish you luck on your new position!! I have no doubt you will thrive in your new location and more challenging assignments. Congratulations!

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  18. Hi human, Elsie,

    A most poignant article, my human friend. When you are drowning in a sea of despair, some will throw you an anchor, I would throw you a life jacket. You are right. We have to distance ourselves from negativity. We have to understand that there are people who do their utmost to sabotage your right to a peaceful, positive life.

    My human had his self-esteem severely impacted. His wife became pregnant, trouble is, he wasn't the father to the child Yet he knows that he is still a good man and his dignity remains intact.

    You, dear friend, cultivate healthy thinking and behaviour. You reach out for positive resources that are conducive to your mental health well being. Yes, we have choices and you chose change for the better. Kudos and admiration to you.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Hi Penny!

      You truly are a blessed doggie to have such an awesome owner. A man who knows he is not responsible for his wife's mistake is a great man indeed. I bet he treats you quite well. I thank you for all your compliments (*aw shucks*). They made my heart smile.

      I'd gladly take a life jacket from you should I ever need it again. Let's hope not though! One time was enough for this chick!!

      And, I have to admit, this is my first from an internet superstar - that's pretty exciting!

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  19. As always, you have done a wonderful job! I can't say that I have ever felt that I was a victim, although I have been victimized. I do believe that once a person recognizes that the only emotions and behavior that you can control are your own, it is a lot easier to adapt.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Melanie. It took me a long time to realize I wasn't responsible for my hubby's emotions and I certainly couldn't control them. It was a difficult lesson for sure. I'm glad you never felt that way - I wish it on no one.

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  20. I think people get comfortable in their role as the Victim. If you are a Victim, things just happen to you. Not your fault. You are the Victim. When you decide to take your life back and become the Captain of your ship... well, that is scary. Things are no longer just happening to you because you are in Charge. Do you whine when you've made the choices? When you are running the show? Who can you blame if you are the boss???? So much easier to stay a victim and blame fate or another person. And that is why so many are stuck in the victim mentality.

    I am so glad that you are saw that for what it is was and decided to be the Victor!!!

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