Year in review

I’ve been seeing a lot of “year in review” posts, and posts about 2018 goals. I think those are both wonderful types of posts. I’m not usually one to do that sort of thing; not here, not on Twitter, and not in real life.

Why not?

Well, I’m a recovering addict who is sick of all of the broken promises I’ve made to myself over the years. 

That doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals and plans and dreams. It just means that I get with my sponsor and we figure out how the steps apply to the problems I’m having and the things I want to accomplish. The steps are effective on more than just my drug problem, which is good; dope was only 5% of my problem. The other 95% of my problem is sitting here typing about how the steps apply to that 95% as much as they apply to the dope.

Recovery with the 12 steps involves a constant review of my actions, my thoughts, my spiritual condition. It involves my sponsor and her perspective on my actions, my thoughts, and my spiritual condition.

Side note: it’s really hard to spot self-deception all by myself. My sponsor is crucial to my continued recovery and survival.

With all that said, here is my year in review:

  • Sunshine and I celebrated our first anniversary. That’s huge, because it’s the third marriage for each of us and we both swore there would never be a third marriage. I don’t regret one moment I’ve spent with him.
  • We’ve made tremendous progress on our little house. In spite of my frustration with the unfinished house, I have to admit that we’re getting somewhere with it.
  • I finally feel connected to my nuclear family again. I don’t know what changed (me or them or both), but my sister’s wedding & our Christmas dinner were good. They were really good, and I’m grateful.
  • I learned to can things: jams, pickles, tomatoes, peppers. This is a new skill, and it meshes really well with my desire to live more simply, smaller, with more connection to the world around me.
  • I got some help with my anxiety. I’m not under treatment by the mental health practitioner yet (this is an indictment of our heartless health care system), but my primary practioner is willing to prescribe until she can hand that part of my care off to them. Gratitude is an inadequate word for what I feel
  • I know there’s more, but I don’t want to get too wordy and bore you to death.

For 2018, I want to:

  • Keep Sunshine around. This involves working my recovery program so he wants to stick around, it involves the words “What can I do to help you with that?”, it involves autonomy (like letting him go hunting as often as he desires without giving him a lot of shit about it), it involves communication (which is an area where I can always use some improvements).
  • Drop some weight. About 30 to 35 pounds. I intend to do this through lifestyle changes instead of hopping on the fad-diet de jour. 
  • Get my blood pressure and cholesterol under control. The weight loss would help, certainly. I’ve reached a point of desperation with my physical health very much like the desperation that drove me to get clean. I want to get healthier.
  • Finish our house. I’m sick to death of wintering in an RV. I’m also sick to death of the never-ending game of tetris my life has become in said RV; knowing that so much fucking space is available to me a short walk down the hill AND I CAN’T FUCKING USE IT is making me ratuck crazy.
  • Explore new ideas for generating income/revenue, both for myself and this fledgling intentional community here. My body can’t take another firewood season at work, no matter how much I love my job and my boss.
  • Continue attempting to develop strong bonds with my mom and my brother and my sister. I say attempting because I can’t control whether or not they reciprocate the attempts. As long as I do my part to try, I can be OK with myself and the universe.
  • There’s a lot more, but that could bore you to tears and I think this list is a very good starting point.

I don’t normally do this sort of thing, because I’m so tired of the broken promises to myself; however, it’s hard to spot self-deception by myself. Maybe just putting it out here on the internet, where nothing ever really goes away, will help me stay focused; and maybe you guys will call me on my shit when I get distracted or forget to be grateful.

Thank you all for your company over this past year. I enjoy having you follow along with my journey, and I thoroughly enjoy following you on yours. My wish for you and yours can be summed up by this Irish blessing:

May you have . . .
enough happiness to keep you sweet,
enough trials to keep you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human,
enough hope to keep you happy,
enough failure to keep you humble,
enough success to keep you eager,
enough wealth to meet your needs,
enough enthusiasm to look forward,
enough friends to give you comfort,
enough faith to banish depression,
enough determination to make each day
better than yesterday

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Happy Christmas! 

I spent Christmas with my mom, brother, & sister for the first time in fuck knows how long. It was good, and I’m so glad I went. I kind of never expected to spend Christmas with us all together (and not fighting) again thanks to my addiction. So that was the greatest gift a girl could ask for at Christmas.

When we got home last night, we were glad to be back in our own bed. This morning, we had our Christmas. 

In typical childlike fashion, Miss Mollie had more fun ripping the wrappings to shreds than she had playing with her new things.

She eventually wore herself out; hen she settled into her new bed with her new blankets, her new rawhide Binkley, and her new sock monkey.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday (whichever holiday you do or don’t celebrate), and that you find as much peace & contentment as Miss Mollie found this morning in her warm, fluffy new bed.

The kind of problems I don’t mind having

Right now, my truck is out of commission. We know the alternator is bad (brand new remanufactured), and I hope that is all that’s wrong.

If that isn’t all that’s wrong, is it going to suck? Yep, it’s going to suck really bad.

However, it’s a problem that money can solve. Pay Ride Ass to change out the alternator and make sure nothing else is wrong. That’s the kind of problems I don’t mind having.

Imagine, if you will, that two men have young sons with a terminal disease that has no cure or treatment. One of the men is very wealthy, the other is very poor. Both of these men are equally unable to solve this problem.

Now, imagine those same two men and their sons being stranded on the side of the road because their vehicle broke down. That’s a problem that money can solve, so one guy easily gets home & gets the car repaired while the other is just stranded and probably loses his job because he can’t get to work.

I don’t mind having the kind of problems that money can solve. There’s generally opportunity to come up with the money some way or another: paycheck, sell one of our spare vehicles, etcetera.

Side note: yes, I totally understand that it is easy for me to say some shit like that. White privilege makes it easy for people that look like me to go get some money. Even Sunshine enjoys white privilege, because his blue eyes and winter pale skin means he passes for white even though he’s a card carrying citizen of a First Americans tribe. White privilege does make it easier for us; however, that’s a discussion for another day and its own post.

As frustrating as it was to be stranded outside the bank two days ago because my truck wouldn’t crank, Sunshine was out of town, Mr B was unavailable, & I don’t have roadside assistance…. Well, it’s still a problem that money can solve therefore I don’t mind having that problem.

The problems I don’t like having are the struggle to repair my relationship with my brother and sister, the knowledge that my mother is mortal and won’t be with us forever, the rain that delayed repairs to my truck…

I can’t control any of those things. I can’t even control my internal emotions and thoughts about those things. I can only control my reactions and responses to those things, and I can’t even do that sometimes. Hey, I’m fighting my own biology. Addiction, my scorch-the-earth temper, depression, anxiety; these are all genetically encoded into me and I can’t get rid of them. I can only try and learn skills that help me be a decent human being in spite of them.

So today, instead of being pissed off or depressed that my truck is dead, I’m just grateful that this is a problem we can solve with money.

Final note: I’m also grateful for Rude Ass who left work to come rescue me. He jump started my truck, then followed me home because he knew it was going to die before I made it home. It did, and he was there to rescue me again. Thank you, Rude Ass for being so decent.

Notes from the road: day 4

I’ve spent a couple of days in Georgia,  hanging out with family. I’m out of clean clothes that mom approves of, so it’s time to head home. 

I’m not heading home empty handed, either. My sister & her husband have been combining households, and a lot of stuff is finding new homes. I’ve got myself a comforter set, some patio chairs, lots of pillows and towels, flatware, and the dishes we used at my childhood home.

I’ve also got a full heart, because I finally have a decent relationship with the family I put through hell for all the years of my active addiction. That’s a precious gift.

I’ve had a great visit, but it’s time to go home. I miss my husband and my furbaby Mollie. Home is where the heart is, and mine lives in two states.

Notes from the road: day 2

I’m standing here in my mom’s kitchen drinking coffee.

Side note: why didn’t I stop for half&half on my way last night? 0% fat milk just isn’t working.

Mom’s house is peaceful, and filled with early morning light. This isn’t the house I grew up in, yet it still feels like that save haven we all know as home.

Today would have been my dad’s birthday if he hadn’t died when I was a few days from my 14th birthday. 

Daddy was a firefighter, and he loved the job.

We’re not going to dwell on the loss, though.  We’re going to focus on the fact that today is my sister’s wedding day! I’ll be spending my morning recovering from a road trip from hell, my lunch at a meeting, and my evening with family. 

Side note: today is going to be as exhausting as yesterday. I’ll pay for it tomorrow  for sure. I’m already operating at a spoon deficit and it’s not even 9AM eastern time

I’m already close to crying, so I’m off to eat my feelings now. They’re going to taste like cinnabon. 

Packing my bags

I’m spending the day getting ready to head out early tomorrow, before the ass-crack of dawn. I’m heading to Georgia,  the place where it all began for me.

Side note: according to “The Walking Dead”, it will also be the place where it all ends with a zombie apocalypse, but that’s irrelevant today since I’m currently still in Texas.

I’ve got my bags mostly packed with all of the things one needs for a road trip; like Little Debbie snacks, peach flavored sparkling water, and the card with my sister’s gift money in it. You know, the important shit. As I sit here typing this, I realize that I almost forgot to pack the expensive-ass outfit I had to buy for this evening wedding, because that’s what kind of idiot I am. I’ll be staying at mom’s for a few days after the wedding, so of course I already packed enough clothes and shoes for a month, because obviously. 

Side note: a huge shout-out and much love to Angie over at youlookfab [dot] com for helping me pick an outfit of pieces that I look forward to wearing in the future! She is amazing, as are all the people that participate in the discussions there

It’s always anxiety inducing to head back to the place from whence I came. There are so many memories, and so much wreckage. Families can be dicey in the best of circumstances; I’m sad to say that the first 35 years of my life were not the best of circumstances. Then there’s the anxiety involved with being away from home, and Sunshine, and Mollie. Who will cook chicken for Mollie even night? Who will pack Sunshine a lunch every morning? Who will wash dishes and do laundry and… I’m already exhausted just thinking about the backlog of housework that will be waiting for me when I return.

However,  my little sister is getting married, and I need to be there. No matter how awful, how insane I got during my active addiction, whenever I showed up at home for a visit my sister always showed up to see me. The least I can do is go to her wedding. Besides,  my sister is awesome and I want some cake.

Side note: I’m hoping that I don’t ever have to make good on my promise to hunt her groom down and make him regret it if he ever hurts my sister. Because that’s the sort of thing I don’t know if Sunshine would bail me out of jail for doing.

Since many miles of my drive (hell, whole fucking states) have no decent new-rock-type radio stations, I went to the pawn shops & the $5 bin at Walmart so I could go old-school on this trip–the CD player in my truck actually works, but I have so few CDS that I had to go buy a few. The playlist for this road trip includes lots of Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Chevelle, Nine Inch Nails, and a band out of Shreveport called The American Tragedy; and some Zucchero & Kenny Wayne Shepherd for when I need to lower my blood pressure after all that hard-driving music that helps me eat up the miles on I20.

I’ll be taking my tablet with me; and it has a data plan, so you’ll be getting my “notes from the road” while I’m gone, complete with pictures. Exciting, no?

Been busy

I haven’t posted in a few days. I’ve been a bit busy. I overestimated my spoons yesterday, and wound up spending my day pickling okra and canning tomatoes.

We’ve had two of Sunshine’s granddaughters here with us for the weekend while their dad attends a seminar in the metroplex. If you’re ever low on spoons, don’t try and care for little kids. They have so much energy, and I really struggled to keep up with the flow of conversation emanating from their minds😄 They’re beautiful little kids, well behaved and sweet; the just have way more energy than my wrong-side-of-forty ass can hope to muster.

I have work today, but tomorrow I hope to be back to post my response to the blogger tag I was nominated for. Then I’ll be filling y’all in on all the stuffs and things that have been happening around here. (Hint: there’s been progress on the house, lots of food has been preserved, and more food to preserve is coming).

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, filled with enough: enough laughter to chase away the tears, enough years to appreciate the laughter; enough fellowship with friends to fill your heart with love, and enough solitude to find your center again after the companionship; enough sustenance to drive away the hunger, enough hunger to help you appreciate good food; I hope you had enough.