Warning: Character Defects Ahead

“I’m not easy to love…I’m a chronic over-thinker, I overreact more than I should…& every once in a while, I might be a little insecure.”….

I found this yesterday, & immediately started to cry…..I could relate….this was & is me…

These are a few of my character defects.

I hadn’t really thought about them in awhile.  I’ve been going along with my day to day activities.  Life moving along just fine.  Then suddenly the last couple of weeks I’ve been in a funk with a capital F.  I can blame the lack of sun, the cold temps, the cycle of coughs, running noses, fevers, & vomiting that has taken over my home, or the constant insanity at work.  All of this is enough to make anyone wave a white flag, jump ship, or in all seriousness pick up a drink.  I seriously considered the first 2 options; with #2 a serious contender to  a tropical paradise solo!  I can say with confidence that picking up a drink was not an option, or in my mind.  I know the consequesnces of that.  I continue to be grateful and blessed in my recovery.

No, my character defects were raring their ugly head in every aspect of my life,  which in turn was contributing to the funk.  Finding the poem that I quoted above was a lightbulb moment….it was a god wink moment….an a-ha moment.  I had a good cry then talked to the bf about my insecurities.  It was an open and honest conversation, something that was lacking in my previous relationships, including my marriage.  I always “danced” around the “tough topics of conversations”.  I never wanted to cause conflict or be disliked or judged.  The last couple of weeks I was slipping back into those old behaviors.  I could sense resentments starting to brew.  A constant feeling of “ick” was following me 24-7.

Steps 6 & 7 of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Annoymous speak directly of character defects.

6.  ” Were entirely ready to have God removed all these defect of character”.

7.  “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”.

Today I did just that…..and I feel so much better.  I know that I will re-visit these steps again.  Its progress not perfection;).  But it still amazes me how good I feel when I am honest with myself.  When I am mindful of my feelings.  When I sit quietly and listen.  When I let go of nonesense.  When I have faith in God & in myself.  Life in sobriety and AA have given me these gifts.  I pray that I never take that for granted.

When its all said and done, I truly do like myself…I do love the person I have become and continue to grow to be.  I am grateful to have the life I have and special people in it.  They love me and my defects of character….even when I am struggling to do so myself… that is truly humbling & simply amazing.  Without the struggle, I wouldnt be the woman I am today, defects and all:)

 

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Oh yes, those pesky expectations causing havoc in my head.  It is MY expectations that cause the unrest.  This unrest causes me to become my own worst enemy. Self doubt & negativity take over.  The ‘I can’t, I wont, & I shouldn’t’ take center stage.

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When this happens I run the risk of feeling resentful,  & that my friends is a slippery slope for an alcoholic like me.

So, as of late when I become disappointed in myself because I didn’t accomplish a goal as I expected myself to.  Or an individual in my life doesn’t respond or behave in a way that I think they should, my first thought (& second) is always to beat myself up mentally & emotionally. 

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Why? All this does is set me up for resentments & self doubt.  My expectations are just that, MINE.  I want what I want when I want it no matter what.  I also expect others to think the same.  So when reality sets in, & things  dont go exactly as I expected,  the anger, sadness, & pity party begins.  So in essence this is a whole bunch of self centered behavior.  I’m not saying not to have goals, aspirations, & self confidence.  God knows I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t believe in my self, if I didn’t have hope.

Hope that is what its all about.  Hope that the hard work & dedication will pay off.  The hope that they will like me as I am, & if not oh well.  The hope that I can live the best life I was meant to live. The hope that I will continue to believe in myself & in others. 

Funny….as I write, my perspective changes….. I started this post with a different mindset.   But you know what, its exactly what I needed at this exact time.  Just goes to show that there is something, or someone bigger than me who knows exactly what I need.
❤✌

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This last week has been difficult.  I’m experiencing sadness that has quite honestly, caught me off guard.  A life cut way too short, by cancer.  A family grieving for their mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend to many. (will refer to her as M)

As an oncology nurse, death unfortunately, can be a common occurrence.  It is never easy to lose a patient, no matter how long they are under my care, but with M it has been extremely difficult.  Why?  She wasn’t a patient of mine, but had come to me with questions about all that was going on with her.  We had known each other since childhood.  Although not close presently, there was a mutual respect and admiration for each other.

When I received the news of her passing, I felt like I was punched in the gut.  Honestly, I was in shock. I was overcome with grief.  I was sad, crying, mad, asking why, and praying. What I was not doing, was reaching for a drink. I didn’t temporarily numb my feelings, thinking it would make them disappear.  I didn’t crave or have any urge to go buy a couple bottles of wine, while trying to convince mysef that it would only be this one time.(yeah, right)

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Instead I called my sponsor, I read the big book, I went to the wake and funeral and let myself FEEL my FEELINGS.

It isn’t easy to feel these overwhelming feelings, but it definitely beats the alternative…

Losing someone sucks, their is no other way to say it, it just plain sucks!  How you cope and grieve is an individual ‘thing’.  I am not here to judge.  For me, as a grateful alcoholic, I know that not feeling my feelings will lead to fear and resentments which will lead to triggers, which eventually could lead to relapse.  And that scares the shit out of me.

Once again my handy dandy recovery tool belt saves the day!

I also rely on hope and faith.  The hope that my sadness will lessen over time, and that my faith in God and in myself will enable me to continue to do the next right thing.  I also have tremendous hope and faith that M’s family will eventually find peace and that their grief turns to hope.

Rest in Peace M.

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The Not so Great Expectations

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I will preface this post with I am far from perfect & I don’t pretend to be, so with that being said;  I feel like my expectations have been heightened since I got sober. Maybe it’s because I’m thinking clearly and have cleaned up so much garbage from my past.  Maybe it’s because I believe the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can be the foundation for heathy living for everyone, not just alcoholics.  Or maybe it’s because I expect others to change because I have. (See I even use the word on a regular basis!). I say all this even though deep down I know that I can only concern myself with me, and no one else.  But that is not always easy.  I find myself disappointed in others and myself when a situation or event or even the mundane day-to-day stuff doesn’t go as I had planned.  I try to hide my disappointment on the outside, but inside I’m hurt, sad, frustrated, irritated(just to name a few).  And mostly at myself. I feel the resentment build within me, almost as if I can’t catch my breath.  When I let it get to this point, I must take a step back & look at the facts.  The majority of the time these resentments are a direct result of the expectations I have placed on others &/or myself.  I really wish there was an easy way to stop this cycle!  I have been thinking and praying about this issue a lot lately, I don’t like feeling resentful, it does me no good.  Resentments can lead me down a dangerous path, a path my addiction would love to see me on.  When I was drinking I resented just about everyone and everything, in fact I resented the fact that my resentments made me drink(if that makes sense), which is typical alcoholic thinking.
I guess when it comes down to it, I just need to focus on the task or day at hand.  I can be hopeful. I can (& should)  act and not expect.  Most importantly I can turn it all over to the big guy upstairs, ‘he’ knows what ‘he’ is doing and what is best for me….’He’ has not let me down.  I sometimes forget that….

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