Freedom to Choose

I was at a twelve step meeting the other day …. I forget the topic, but we were reading from “As Bill Sees It, The AA way of Life” and we read a passage on the Freedom to Choose and it really got me to thinking more about the choices we have in life.

When I talked with my sponsor (in the past) about really wanting to drink or other things with a possible negative outcome, she would always tell me in part that the choice was mine.    I didn’t like that or understand it, but now I do.   In the past while in active addiction, I really didn’t have a choice.  Sober,  I always have the choice to do what is right or to do what is wrong.   My journey, my choice.

In the “As Bill Sees It” reading it says:   “Looking back, we see that our freedom to choose badly was not, after all, a very real freedom.    When we chose because we must this was not a free choice either, But it got us started in the right direction.   When we chose because we ought to , we were really doing better.  This time we were earning some freedom, making ourselves ready for more.   But when, now and then, we could gladly make right choices without rebellion, hold-out, or conflict, then we had our first view of what perfect freedom under God’s will could be like.”

For awhile I felt trapped into being sober, like I had no choice because of my commitment to my sponsees and my position on the board at our local meeting club.   In reality I chose to do things to help keep me in line and to keep me sober and doing the next right thing.    I always have the choice to give up those things and return to a life a despair.     My journey, my choice.

Today, I like the choices I have made in staying sober and my commitment to helping others.   My life, my family, my friends are all better because of the choices I have made in the past several years.

Today I choose to be sober …. Happy, Joyous and Free!

Resentment

I have a resentment.   A resentment against a family member and it is eating me alive.   I am not sure if the situation is real or perceived, nonetheless I have these feelings of anger and resentment toward this person … well, actually persons.

It doesn’t matter the situation or the particulars.

I don’t like conflict and I am more of a passive – aggressive type and we know this doesn’t do anybody any good.

What do they say about the alcoholic and resentments…. The big book states on page 66,  “It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.  If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”

I know I need to put my big girl panties on and confront the situation, no matter how difficult that may be for me. For my sake and the sake of my sanity as well as the foundation of my family this must be dealt with…. maybe tomorrow.

 

Mother’s Day

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Its a good day to recognize those women who have mothered us and helped us grow.  Our Mother’s, Mentors and Friends.   I love my Mother so much, she is an awesome Mom.  Sometimes I wish I could be more like her … spur of the moment, love of travel and of all things and very adventurous.  She is a free spirit (and sometimes these traits drive me crazy).   I on the other hand am more careful, conservative, a planner and a homebody …. more like my Dad I would say.   My mom and I have a wonderful relationship, she is my biggest supporter.    I don’t think though she understands my addiction issues and recovery very much and we rarely talk about it, but she is proud of me for getting sober and for the Mother that I am.

I love being a Mom.   I am grateful to be the Mother of 2 wonderful young women.   My girls have really turned out to be good people and I couldn’t be prouder of them.   They are both on their way to becoming self sufficient adults.    I feel like I have done my job in raising them.  I miss having them around, but I have had to let them leave the nest and fly.   It is different being a Mother to adult children.   I sometimes miss those days when my kids were younger.  I still worry about them, even though they are adults.  I worry about that addiction gene, I pray they don’t have it.    They like to have fun and drink, but don’t seem obsessive about it or to have that addictive personality …. yet.   My girls seem well grounded and mostly responsible.   I am grateful that my girls have a close relationship with my Mom (in fact my oldest daughter, Allie, is just like my Mom) and had a close relationship with my Grandma, their Great Grandma, who passes away only 4 years ago.   We all live(d) in the same area and got to enjoy each other as family.

Life keeps going.   I am so happy my girls were home to celebrate the Mother’s Day weekend with me and spend some time with my Mom.   I do miss my Grandma, but she is definitely here always in spirit.

I am honored to have so many wonderful (older) women in my life who may not be my Mother, but who have helped shape and mold the person I am today.   This is especially true of the women I know and love in recovery.    I am a very lucky Girl, Daughter and Mother.

Empty Nest Again

Back on my beautiful back patio, chilling, listen to the birds sing and letting my mind wander some more.    I am blessed with my family and friends and the life I have despite the obstacles of addiction and at times mental issues.

This past weekend we celebrated Easter.   Both of my girls were home at the same time, the first since Christmas.   I had not seen Kirsten, the Chicago daughter since then.   It was so wonderful having a full house …. the two girls plus 1 boyfriend for a long weekend.   It is different with adult children our relationship has changed to an adult relationship.   Steve and I really enjoy our adult children, we had a lot of fun just hanging out with them and being together. We did the family Easter thing at my Moms house celebrating with my brothers and family … 14 of us in all.   And though it was very loud and chaotic at times, it was still wonderful.  I love having everyone together, the kids ages 2.5 to almost 24 enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt, it was fun to watch the little ones and the big kids act like little ones.

Now it is Monday.    Allie and Patrick are back to work in Columbus.  We took Kirsten to the airport this morning for her flight back to Chicago and school and Steve left for an overnight business trip.   I went from a full house to just me sitting at home alone contemplating life. I am back to having an earache and sore throat  and sinus issues … which is making me more self aware that I am now alone and feeling a little sad.   I miss having my kids around, but they are spreading their wings and I am proud of them.    They are great kids or I should say they have turned out to be great people.

Really I should have nothing to complain about, I am truly blessed.

Now What ……

I am sitting here on my beautiful back patio enjoying a the warming weather of spring.  Just thinking and letting my mind wander.    My life is good … on the outside.  No seriously it is good and I feel guilty for not been happy and joyous.   It has been about a year since I have quit working and I am still trying to find myself.   I volunteer, work with my sponsees go to AA meetings, see my trainer and hang out with friends and family.  What is there not to love about this life.   I just don’t know, I need more purpose.   I am feeling what is the point of all this life stuff and know there has to be one.

My therapist suggests that maybe taking a class would help keep my mind busy so I am thinking about what I want to do.   I do enjoy learning and a class would give me something to focus on … but what?    I am researching online courses and it is overwhelming.   I did find an inexpensive site with a lot of options of work at your own pace classes which might be a good place to start, I could just dabble in something and see if it goes anywhere.    Steve and I are also contemplating a yoga class – which could be helpful with our anxiety and stress and overall lack of flexibility.   I am starting a bible study class this week so that is something too.   There is also a “class” of sorts I want to take about breaking the barriers to exercise, diet and health (since I have done very little in that arena as well).  I have got to do something more with myself.  I have  just got to get up and do it!

So obviously I am still in this funk.   I am not sure what it is about, but it is making me crazy.   I just don’t want to feel this way and it does make for some crappy days.  I don’t want to drink and/or drug, but it would sure take the edge off.   I just have so much to loose if I choose to go that route.   Like I said before, I have some great friends in recovery that I love with all my heart and I do not want to loose that.   I also (usually) enjoy working with others in the program.

I guess I just have to feel the feels and keep acting like life is as good as it is, because I am sure it will be again soon.   I just seem to cycle through these down and anxious periods.  I really am blessed and grateful, I know I have it good.    Lets just be Happy, Joyous and Free.