Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Either God is or he isn't

What is your choice to be?

I hear that in AA often. It's pretty black and white, isn't it? Yet we are taught to not think in the black or white. LOL. I guess when it comes to God, there cannot be anything else. Like, God can restore one to sanity but he's not real good in the miracle department. So, there is really one decision I need to make if I want to recover. Decide whether God is or isn't the omnipotent, all powering, in control of my life kinda guy. Or not.

For me, he is. My problem, is I forget that. Often. This morning I awoke in fear, and fatigue. An endless headache for the last week (Stress, anyone?), nasty allergies, worry and all that crappy stuff. The phrase "Either God is or he isn't" kept ruminating in my head. All day. I mean, all darn day. I had been wanting to post this entry to share about it but things just kept popping up throughout the day. And as it turns out, they were good things. Good work opportunities. Good personal opportunities. Just good stuff. Maybe the God thoughts penetrated to my soul and created some good God-karma.

I was listening to a tape of something and someone of whom I've forgotten at this moment, but I remember hearing "release, don't resist". I like that and in my head I believe I am in process of doing that. My heart is following up, too. One moment at a time. One thought at a time. When the fearful thoughts arrive, I release them. I do not resist, I release and trust God. Because, after all,

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yeah so this is what I learned

To complete the rest of the story of my weekend, I thought I'd share a letter I wrote to my sponsor today. One thing I haven't shared here on the blog much is my sense of humor. I actually have one. Hopefully you'll see it in this email.  :)

Good morning, Yoda,

 I hope today is a peaceful day thus far. As peaceful as a Monday can be when you work for a bunch of sick, self-centered succubus’s..sucubi? I thought I'd share some thoughts from inside the vault-o-fun that is my head. From this weekend's convention and other carousels of wonders.

I spent much of my time hanging out in the boutique where my district peoples were working. I did a lot of service there which enabled my interior head varmints to rest from their usual duty of mind assault. I was so shell shocked from the Roxy email followed by the Barbara barrage, that I just wanted to be still to shake it off. I did not attend but one workshop the next day, and chose it to be the HP workshop. I had to sit on the floor but it was worth it. I heard some good poop.

Friday night, whilst sleeping at Sue's lovely home, I awoke at 4 am with that awesome feeling of imminent puking. Had all the symptoms, and gagged once but I was able to refrain from that unlady-like act. But it was severe, let me tell you. I became acquainted with Sue's bathroom floor as I slumbered there for a bit. I am thankful for her skilled housekeeper as my temporary tiled residence was quite clean. Good to be grateful even whilst feeling green. I think it was my mind control that prevented the contents of my dinner from returning to life as I kept  mind chanting "I'm fine. I'm fine". I've done this before and it's worked. I guess it's true, it does work if you work it. It also works in the reverse, as our Saturday night speaker reminded me with the old Al-Anon joke:

"How can you tell an Al-Anon is in hell?"

You ask her how she is? She replies:

"It's NOT hot and I am NOT here".

If I tell myself that long enough, I will believe it. Until the heat singes my hair cus, guess what? It WAS hot there after all!! #$&%^!!@!

Even though I write today with humor, I am feeling pretty shitty. Both physically and Al-Anon-ic-ly. Rather icky. My never ending headache is here and present, allergies making their way into my day and general spiritual malaise. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my spiritual condition :P. Or things that are beyond my control and of which I am not accepting that fact. No, no, not....(It's NOT hot, dammit).

I do believe the stress of Roxy's email attack and subsequent Barbara bash led to my potential puke-a-thon. Stress kills, so I've heard. On Saturday Barbara sent me an apology text saying he was kidding and didn’t mean to hurt me. I do believe that's the first apology from her ever, So it was a big deal. I let it go, and saw her a few hours later. She gave me the big Al-Anon hug and invited me to sit with her for the AA speaker. Who, btw, wasn't so awe-inspiring? So she got sober at 17, and has 24 years. Pffft. She didn't make me laugh much or touch my deep inner core. OK, if you want me to be positive, she did carry THE message of Alcoholics Anonymous, not a watered down version as I've heard before. So, she was good. :)

The day got better but I just felt alone. Inner isolation, I suppose. Just before the Al-Anon Sat night speaker began, a woman sitting behind me called me over to say something. She said that she had been "watching" me. (STALKER!!!) and wanted to tell me that I looked stunning and I carried myself well and apparently that I am just lovely, in her eyes.
Well what the phuck do you do with that? I hugged her and told her I needed to hear that. She was so lovely with her words, I assumed HE had sent her. Later, when we did the count down, As I will still standing after they called the 25 years to sit down, she said to me "You're too young to have been here that long". I told her I had 27 years on Monday. She said she too has 27 years. Ain't that something, both of us came in 1988 when Gary Hart was screwing Donna Rice. Heh heh.

Corrie Long, the Al-Anon speaker, was pretty cool, though obviously a circuit speaker. She came out of the gate with the "I’m an ENTHUSIASTIC Al-anon!!". I've heard that before from those circuity people, it seems to have been taught in circuit-speaker school that one must always be enthusiastic when one speaks. Of course she was from the South, Wetumpka Alabama. Yes, take a moment to chuckle at that. So..she told much of my story. I personally love when she said the word "stalking". Almost made me feel normal. I did identify with her a lot and I am glad I put down my "circuit speaker prejudice" to hear the message. I found it interesting that she is 54 years old, as is her husband, and they have an 8 year old daughter. She said he wasn't with her that evening as he was taking their girl to a Michael Bolton concert. Good laughs were had at that comment.

Oh, let me now forget the most significant moment of the weekend. First, let me take you back to 2006 (get in my time machine, it has a wet-bar). You and I were at the Miami convention and that years Alateen speaker was none other than Mr. Jackson A. Parodi, Esquire. Circa age 14. After he spoke, you and I went to the lobby to buy his CD. John, the fella working the CD table heard you and I talking about Juan. I made a stupid remark when John asked if YOU were Jackson's father. (Wouldn't that be something if you were..? Junior would be a vegan eatin', animal lovin', tuba nerd). I said "No, we don't know where Jackson's father is...out drinking probably". And John said "Oh, well we must pray for him then". **Instant mortification and humility finding moment**. I have never forgotten his words and think of them often. Well, in the last several months, I have been thinking about John. Don't know why, but really remembering that lesson in humility some 9 years ago. I have been to ever Al-Anon convention since and have never seen him again.

Until Saturday. There he was. At the table, this time it's his own business now.

So I went up to him and said my son was the Alateen speaker in 2006 at the Miami Inter-continental hotel. He immediately remembered and said "Jackson!". Oh my holy was God speaking from his mouth. How in the world could he remember his name? I told him the story above and how much his words have impacted me over the years. I thanked him for carrying the message, and showed him pics of my boy and shared how well he is doing. John's eyes lit up with appreciation of hearing good news from an Alateen. It was a glorious moment for me, one that was worth all the misery of the preceding day. And another reminder that when I feel like shit and don't want to do the footwork (like going to the convention when I didn't feel like going) that God WILL drop a major miracle in my lap. Kind of like winning the lottery after trudging in the snow with no clothing on, except my big girl panties, and trusting.....that I am a winner! (Nice visual, huh).

It's been a hard few weeks, Yoda dearest. I miss "him". He has iced me out for whatever reason. But I am "coming to believe" that God knows the reason why and that's good enough for me. I guess I'm not to know, I am only to do. The next indicated thing. I have decided to give myself permission, for today only, one day at a time, to stop trying to get through to him. To 'abandon' the commitment I made to remain his friend. He has abandoned his end of the friendship so I guess I can't be holding up both ends, can I? I will permit myself to send my SuperWoman cape to the cleaners. For today, at least.  ��

Back to Jackson. As I told you last time we spoke, I am so grateful for his growth in our relationship. "The family situation is bound to improve as WE APPLY the Al-Anon ideas". Good lord, do others know about this sentence? I feel the need to spout it from the rooftops. When you told me that back in January, I hung my hope on that line as if it were a truth. Which, I've come to find out, IT IS!! Holy Macarena....these words weren't written just for shits and giggles!! He has come to respect my time, and stays in touch regularly and returns calls quickly. If only all my boundaries were so well respected. I think it means he loves and values me. Which those boundaries mean I love and respect myself. Whaddya know! ��

Well, I'm sure you've enjoyed this long diatribe of doo doo. Not like you need to focus on work or anything. Just thought I'd dump on you before we speak tonight. After all, dumping is caring. Or something like that.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Part two

I felt so 'intoxicated' by the venomous email from R, that I had a difficult time shaking it. Although intellectually I 'knew' that she had to be in a deep, dark space to write something so heinous. However, knowing something and being 'aware' of it are two different experiences. Awareness bring peace and acceptance. Knowledge does little to soothe the spiritual sunburn. Sometimes I tell myself that after all these years of recovery and all the spiritual growth I've been blessed to have, that I 'should' not feel emotional pain when someone, or something, occurs that hurts. Alas, my ego wishes that to be true, but I realize with this incident that I am not meant to become a perfect spiritual being, I am meant to utilize the tools and solutions readily available at my finger tips. My 'reaction' to it can be different because I am aware of what to do, where to go, who to call to find my freedom from the bondage of another persons pain.

So easily said, huh?

So, I called my brother sponsee. Called my sponsor. Prayed and meditated. And little by little, the pain lessened. Awareness started to peek through and the detox was underway. I was still quite shaken, much like as if I'd been in a car accident, and though no physical injuries, the emotional injury would take time to heal.

I went to the convention at the fancy, schmancy golf resort in Palm Beach Gardens and threw myself into service. Our district was in charge of the boutique this year. That's a small banquet room made up to be a gift shop of items people have made or donated. Our own little store, and I had signed up to work it for a few hours. Turns out I spent much of my time there hanging with my people. And buying a lot of jewelry ;)

I also spent a lot of time observing my fellows, especially while under stress. The chair-woman of the boutique is a long long time friend who I adore. She has the biggest heart ever and is well loved. But, she seems to have a bit of ADD, some think, and a stress level difficult to manage. She had several melt downs when something would go wrong: a wi-fi problem, miscommunication with volunteers. It was uncomfortable to view. I detached completely from it, but others could not. As I casually mentioned one such outburst to two other women, one had to throw on her cape and fly over to her saying "I need to go 'help" her". Which is code word for "I CAN FIX HER". The remaining friend and I just looked at each other with that "Let go, Let God" look. Thank God, it wasn't me flying on my broom to the rescue.

As it turns out, the boutique was a huge success, lots of compliments on the items and how it all turned out. When God is in charge, that's always the outcome. But man, or in this case, woman just seemed to have forgotten that. By the end of the evening, I was feeling better though exhausted and hungry. So I missed the first evening speakers to go eat dinner and go to bed. I was staying with a friend who lives nearby, and enjoyed a lovely time. Until, I woke up at 4:00 am....sick.

Stay tuned for part three....

A posionous friendship

For almost 5 years, I have (had) a pen-pal friendship with a British woman living in Spain whom I met on an astrology site. We're the same age, with similar backgrounds, though she is an untreated addict and untreated Al-Anon, living with an active alcoholic. We have served each other in the various gifts we each behold: me offering her spiritual guidance and support, she offering me logical and more worldly experience that I do not have. We were very supportive of one another and I valued her advice and insight. Last year, when her drunk boyfriend was so abusive, she was falling apart emotionally. Of course, I suggested Al-Anon a million times. When she permitted me, I emailed a local AA group in Spain and spoke with a member who offered to connect her with 2 Al-Anon women. She accepted. At first. But never made the call. I have, had, been her only true friend, only person she confided in and shared all the dark (and light) in her life. She is so isolated in the disease, she has nothing to offers others and chooses to receive nothing from those who have and want to give.

Two days ago, she wrote me a scathing email telling me how self-absorbed I am, how I never "ask" about her and that all I think about is me and my bullshit life. She thought I should know how fucked up I am, and took many of the confidential things I've shared with her over the years, and thew them in my face with judgment and shame. She was hostile and emotionally violent. I was stunned.

Earlier in the morning, she has sent a kind reply to one of my emails, and there seemed to be nothing amiss. Clearly, later, there was. I understand intellectually it is not about me, for no one who is spiritually fit would ever write such vile words. She may genuinely feel I am self-centered, and perhaps I am, but when it's delivered with a machine gun, rather than gentleness, I cannot hear a word she says. I can only feel your hatred and poison.

And feel it I did. It doesn't matter how spiritually armed I am, how much self-esteem I am blessed to behold today: when someone opens up a can of machine gun spray on me, a bullet proof vest does little to keep me safe. In this case, sane. I was affected. I was very affected.

More later.....

Rule 62.....don't take yourself so serious

Serenity: The music of recovery

Music was the theme of the convention. This was part of a door decoration. I thought the decorations were quite lovely.

My sponsor happens to be a gifted guitarist.

First time I've ever seen both Anne's acknowledged as our co-founders. So beautiful!

When you see a dear friend napping in the middle of the hallway..... just gotta get a selfie with her <3

For sale in the boutique.....gotta love my fellows!