Working the program while in a relationship or marriage.

Living a selfish program like we do, comes with quite a bit of compromise. Focusing each day, one day at a time at surviving and beating the cravings, pain, and mental obsession into oblivion with the help and grace of God takes so much focus and work.

Yet, I would be the last one to say to someone that they can not be in recovery and a relationship.

It’s tap dancing barefoot on broken glass, while doing twenty-five other things some days though. Of course, I’m writing this while in a long-term marriage, 19 years after my last drink or drug.

When I was younger, one of my marriages ended. My part of it was I went to many meetings every week. I spent more time focused on my sobriety, than on my marriage. I spent more time working the program than working on my relationship. The other part? I was a human punching bag for a person who thought I was cheating on him with AA/NA and the fellowship.

I remember knowing that about the only thing I had going for me was my sobriety. I remember knowing in my heart of hearts that my soul was on the line and that I was engaged in a battle with the demons in my head. I was battling my disease. Yet, I wasn’t supposed to give one ounce to my sobriety without putting my marriage and my husband first.

Ironically, he knew I was an alcoholic when he married me. I was just the wrong kind, I was a sober one.

Many relationships have gone since then.

Today, some of the same issues are at stake. I spend even more time on my recovery. I go to many meetings. No, I’m never at any danger of being physically abused. We met in recovery.

Finding that balance between service, recovery, and my marriage though takes its toll at times. I am no master at it. Also thrown into the mix is my medical problems.  There are days that I can’t be a loving, kind attentive wife. There are days I can not leave the house.

How do we cope? Some days are better than others. Some days, never a cross word is said, no problems arrive, and the dishes are done so to speak. Others, we don’t do so well. I leave in tears for a meeting, and come home determined to never fight.

I keep track of things, I do the steps. I make amends. There are times though, that I fall way short. I then have to be gentle with myself and with my husband. None of this is going to be perfect. Even the literature says progress not perfection.

That’s all I have for now.

 

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Working

There is a song playing in the background. Dad is reading his Bible. I am working on getting a bit more organized. The dogs are enjoying some chew bones. It’s one of those cold winters snow days.

Schools are cancelled, the roads are crummy, and it is a beautiful day to stay inside all warmed up.

I have dug out my old copy of Sidetracked home executives, and I am applying a bit of the program to a problem I have.

I am a hoarder. I am also exceptionally lazy. The house is horrifying. I have many justifications and rationalizations for this. Suffice it to say, this doesn’t quite cut it.

So, with Big Book and program on one side, and a little help from the slob sisters, I’m going to get to work.

Where does the bullet journal come in? I will post photos later. For now, I’m busy taking notes.

I’m at step one with the home. I am powerless over my laziness, and my life is unmanageable.

That’s all for now.

L

Facing fear

Morning, second cuppa decaf is ready, and the dogs are outside sniffing around.

Today is day four of heavy anxiety. It is part of life. I am still maintaining for the most part with only one anxiety cancellation.

What is an anxiety cancellation? It is a planned event that I cannot make it to. Fear keeps me home.

This is the first four day anxiety streak in about 3 years.

So, what am I going to do about it?

On Sunday, I set it aside. I took Dad to Mass and afterwards we went to cards. The roads were slicker than snot, but we made it.

However, yesterday I stayed home all day. Today, I have to leave the house again.

Dad and I are heading to an appointment for his skin cancer. It’s been a normal that two or three times per year, the Dr removes more skin cancer. This morning we are going to run errands, and then the VA.

I have been doing all of the tricks I learned in recovery and other places to keep the fear down to a roar.

Yesterday, I turned to knitting to calm down. My dog decided to eat my knitting, and my needles. I blew my stack, verbally. I then cleaned up the mess, and put myself in time out. Dad understands, and knew that I needed to get a handle on my anger before bed.

Anger is a twin sister to fear in my book.

So, what will I do today about the emotional train wreck running through my head?

I will write, and keep writing, until the fear passes. I will take care of my blood sugar, and my health. When I am overwhelmed, I will take a break.

So, I need to repack my bug out bag, with anxiety in mind, and get to work.

L

Keeping ahead of it

I make no secret of the fact that I am a sober alcoholic. I am a disabled person who has to keep track of two households, both my Dad’s and my husband’s.

I was lucky in that I took on this life with several years of recovery under my belt. I was also lucky in that I found the bullet journal system around this time.

So, how do I keep ahead of it? With my disability, my alcoholism, my health and my tiny budget, how do I do this?

I keep trying, no matter what. I also do many inventory lists of what works and what doesn’t.

For example, with yesterday’s storm. I knew that Dad dawdles a bit. I told him a leave time about 15 minutes before we had to really leave. I do this because it works.

For appointments with my husband, I keep a copy of his schedule as well. Neither my Dad nor my husband drive. My husband is 60 miles away.

I keep a “bug out” bag with my diabetes and medical essentials hidden inside. I always have it with me every time I leave the house, as well as my BuJo. I plan the whole day for appointments. I also keep otc recovery friendly medicine with me.

I schedule appointments around Dad’s VA schedule, since his are scheduled further out.

In my bujo, everything is laid out. I have monthly, weekly, and daily plans. I have A.A. meeting schedules for both my South Dakota and Minnesota home groups as well.

When I have to travel for my own medical needs, I always plan for meetings and errands as well. This keeps me in line and focused.

Dad and I live about 12 miles north of town, so scheduling things in bunches really helps. I also plan breaks.

For example, when taking Dad to town yesterday, I brought the bujo and reviewed all the upcoming appointments. This was my break time, my relaxation, and my comfort.

I also keep my recovery literature with me at all times. There is a kindle version of most AA books on my phone, and I am able to get my daily readings and homework done at a glance.

Errands day, usually once a month, is broken up into manageable chunks so that I am not overwhelmed. My breaks can involve getting a bite to eat or sitting and having a cup of decaf and watching traffic from a parking lot.

I can also get to an A.A. meeting if I plan my routes correctly.

Even though, I cannot physically stand for long, or walk very far, I compensate for this with either a walker or a cane. While I can not ever drive professionally, due to insulin dependency, I can do my best.

Thank You for your time, have a great day.

L

Running

Morning. We are under severe winter weather advisory for my area, and Dad and I are out and about.

Dad has two appointments at the VA this morning. It has been a ‘normal’ recovery day so far for me.

The dogs woke me several times during the night to go outside. I finally crawled out of bed at 5:10 this morning. I did my morning reading, had my first smoke of the day and made coffee.

I woke Dad at 6, and then again at 6:30 so we could leave in plenty of time to get to town. With the wind conditions and the fact that the sun wouldn’t be up yet, I needed extra time for travel.

Dad said, “One word of advice” as he got into the car. I asked him what that was, and he replied, “Don’t get into an accident.” I said I would take his advice.

Maybe he could have mentioned that to the other drivers.

We arrived in town with half an hour to spare before his appointment. However, driving through town, even with the interstate, he had only three minutes to spare. It was rush hour combined with the weather.

I am grateful we made it.

Planning ahead only does so much, execution also has something to do with it. I could plan to be a billionaire, it is a good plan. However, with my current circumstances, and the fact that I am doing absolutely nothing about it, it is not likely it will ever happen.

Life gets teejious, don’t it…

Have a great day.

L

Last night I cold called a newcomer

I don’t like cold calling. It’s just too blasted hard. This is one of those “I am responsible” things. I was asked by someone to call this person. It’s a rare moment.

Unfortunately, my pneumonia made the call an interesting one.

We spoke for about 30 minutes, mostly for me to give them reassurance about their new life.

It is what it is.

Meanwhile, it was a short night. I was not planning on coming to Minnesota, but the severe illness and death of a family dog brought me out.

It is interesting that the one thing to pull me out of this funk, was cold calling a newcomer.

That’s all for now.

L

New Year same me

Good morning.

First post of 2018 I guess. I have pneumonia, and today is the first day off of antibiotics. It still hurts to breathe and I take many naps during the day.

I have 7018 days sober today. It’s weird thinking about that many days sober. I have come to guard my sobriety a little more carefully now a days. For example, I saw my Dr a week ago. I had been coughing until more than mucous came loose. She prescribed an antibiotic, an anti fungal, and a cough medicine. I agreed, and went on my way to the pharmacy.

Once there, after the obligatory 20 minutes wait, I was stopped cold by the cough medicine. It said may make you drowsy. I came clean to the pharmacist, and let him know of my recovery status. I asked if I could return them, he said “Not after you have taken them.” I said, “No, now.” He agreed, and I saved ten dollars and walked out with piece of mind.

I am slowly healing, and I am going to be okay, sobriety intact.