Thursday, August 25, 2016

When A Community Joins Together

There’s an app we use in our neighborhood called Nextdoor. It’s a private social network to keep those in your immediate community informed about things like lost pets, babysitting recommendations, or even form a neighborhood watch.

When I first heard about it on Facebook, I was slightly hesitant. Where I grew up in the north you kept to yourself. A wave hello to your neighbors, maybe exchange a few friendly words to see how the kids were, and maybe…just maybe, get together for a BBQ every now and again. But for the most my parents dragged us into the house so we “didn’t end up chatting with the Johnson’s for forty-five minutes.” It was up to us kids to socialize with each other. Not the adults.

Then my hubby’s career took us to the southern half of the United States and boy was I in for a culture shock. Neighbors actually knocked on my door and brought me cake and cookies to welcome me into the community. I even got a gift basket from the local stores. What? My neighbors remained friendly. Although we moved out of state almost ten years ago, some still send us baked goods for the holidays. Hello Southern Hospitality!

With that warmth in mind, I joined Nextdoor. I’ve been a member for a couple of years but for the most part, I remain quiet on the site. I click the “welcome” button. Donate things from time to time, but usually stay to myself.

I’ve seen many good things on the site. Mostly rescued pets. Lots and lots of rescued pets. My how they tend to wander away from their owners! I’ve also seen my local officials, police, and community outreach members become a part of it too. That’s awesome to witness.

I’ve seen some not so good stuff too. Although it’s rare and if it happens, it’s removed quickly. I’m thinking Nextdoor has moderators 24/7 to ensure rumors or solicitors aren’t present.

Recently, I watched an outstanding event unfold. Our neighborhood banded together. One of our neighbors, an elderly gentleman, hadn’t been seen riding his bike lately. His yard, normally well groomed, had become overgrown. No one had seen him outside tending his rose bushes or greeting people as they passed by. Someone inquired if they knew anything about him because many of us knew about his history of blackouts and that he had no family in the immediate area.

After many responses, we came together and as a whole, were able to find out that our friend and neighbor was doing okay. His health had taken a bit of a turn, but because of the outpouring of concern, a welfare check was done, his yard was cut, a neighbor has a key to his home, and phone numbers were exchanged in case of emergency.

It really made my heart smile to know that this site, the one that made me feel like a nosey neighbor at first, ended up helping an elderly man in need. In fact, it led to a night out in the park this weekend for the neighborhood kids to play corn hole while parents connect and they are re-forming a neighborhood watch too. Pretty cool, huh?

Do you have something like Nextdoor? If not, would you consider joining it?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Emotional Sobriety

from Google

Sometimes I'm so grateful for the tools my S-AnonCandeo, and AA programs have taught me that I feel like I could burst at the seams. Like brightly colored confetti of happiness is going to fly out of me in all different directions at any given moment. I’m that dang thankful for all that I’ve learned the last six years.

Recently we had an issue in our home with one of our children. It was something that I couldn’t control. Lord knows I wished I could. (We all know how much I love(d) that control. But this time, it was totally out of my hands. In the end, it was a way for me to sit down and have an open and honest conversation about some very difficult topics. My program tools helped me do that.

So did my emotional sobriety.

Because if I didn’t have emotional sobriety, I think I would’ve been thrown into a world of chaos and that could’ve led me to slip in either of my programs (with hypervigilance or drugs).

Emotional sobriety is being aware of your emotions, no matter what they are and not ignoring them. Then when you’ve acknowledged those feelings, you deal with them in a healthy way. It's finding a healthy balance, a sense of calm, even when life gets chaotic. Had I not had emotional sobriety during that time my child was going through crisis (and still is), I would've been right there alongside them, losing my cool too…being sucked into the problem instead of creating the solutions.

I often wonder if emotional sobriety is overlooked sometimes during recovery. Not just for the addict’s recovery but for their partner’s recovery too. The focus tends to be on getting the addiction itself stopped, whatever it is: drugs, alcohol, porn, but then what? How is the addict, partner, and the family supposed to learn how to manage life after the addiction is addressed?

I know I fell into some unhealthy roles before I had it. My emotional sobriety served me well during our talk. It allowed me to listen to my child instead of commandeer the situation. It kept me from panicking instead of accepting the problem. And I also didn't lash out at the person who caused the situation. Instead, I thought about it first, then responded. The old me would've reacted in about three seconds flat with a nasty phone call or email. So, I'm very grateful to have this tool in my toolbox.

For those of you who'd like to hear a great talk on emotional sobriety, here's a link to a talk by Tom B. Jr. I posted it three years ago but I listen to this at least twice a year. It's that good and it's not just for addicts and alcoholics. This guy is a fantastic speaker and deserves a spot at Ted Talks.


What about you? Do you tend to get wrapped up in family problems or do you step back and offer solutions? Or do you distance yourself completely?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'm In A Good Place - An IWSG Post

For the love of Pete, it’s August already! Summer is just about over. That bums me out more than I care to admit. This is my favorite season because I’m an avid beach fan and I haven’t been there much at all this year. Between work, migraines, and the weather, it just hasn’t happened. I made a promise to myself a couple of weeks ago that I’d go at least once a week for the rest of the season, and then it stormed the next few days. What the heck?

That same day, I also promised myself I’d get back into the swing of writing too. I’m happy to say that that promise has gone much better. My health has taken a dip down lately so my writing has taken hit so I decided, you know what? Screw that nonsense, I can still squeeze in something on the days I’m feeling well and trying to catch up on my household stuff, right? Right!

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been working on my second self-help book and even did a little bit of writing in a fictional book too. You guys were right last month. Working on something else has taken the focus off of Steps Along My Shore. I’m not obsessed with sales like I was last month. I check them when I’m online, but don’t go running to the computer every morning. Don’t get me wrong, when I see a sale I’m elated and still curious where they’re coming from, but I’m no longer bummed at a flat line. As they say, “It is what it is.” 

My only insecurity is why no more reviews? I'm still at three. What gives? But other than that,  I’m in a good place right now. I hope you are too!

Side note: I usually visit in the mornings but I’m working today so I’ll be around this afternoon. See everyone later!


This has been a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's a time to talk about our fears and doubts, or inspire others by sharing our success and happiness.  We’ve got a great bunch of people in this group and we’d love to have you join in on the fun too.  A big thank you to it's creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our fantastic co-hosts:  Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!