Sunday, May 27, 2012

1000 paper cuts

Several weeks ago the television was on in the bedroom. It was a baseball there anything else on? I wasn't really watching, but I heard the commentator say something about death by a thousand paper cuts. I didn't meditate on the comment, but I did file it away.

The last two weeks can easily be explained in such a way. My life is not hard. I am not in want of any material possession. I am healthy, I am employed. I have money for appointments with my therapist and movies with friends. My children are bright, my husband is helpful.

Yet I have struggled so lately. I have had hard nights of sleep. Weird dreams. The drama I wrote about at work awhile ago is ongoing. Two women aren't speaking to me at all. While I have learned from that situation, it still hurts. It seems that there is a power struggle and I am doing my best to stay out of it. I wish I had talked about it less and am learning that I need not tell details to more than my sponsor or my husband.

A friendship is in the rebuilding stages and I want it to move faster. I feel like things are good, going well, then something will be said and I question my part. We went to the movies on Friday and it was easy and enjoyable. Yet earlier in the week as we stood near each other in the hallway it seemed as if a boulder lay between us.

My obligations at work have changed and I am really wondering what part the earlier drama has played into it. The reasoning being verbalized appears to make sense, but on second thought it is a flimsy excuse to change the game that is going on. I feel useless and unneeded and my pride is hurting.

My son has twice pooped his pants at school. He is eight. What the heck? I have toyed with calling the doctor, but I really think he is being lazy, not that he has a lazy sphincter. So now each morning before we leave the house I am telling him to sit on the throne awhile.

I am trying to figure out what it means. What should I be learning from all these minor irritations that seem to be piling up and up. Why the subtle attacks on my peace of mind, my sense of worth and value, my ability to function in life?

And to top it off, Friday afternoon as I was covering a class I noticed about 12 paper cuts on the tip of my pointer finger. Seriously. And I have no idea when I got them, what I was doing. Yet, the irony is not lost on me. Friday the cuts were many and sore. And today they are hard to see, the healing is taking place almost before my eyes.

So while my laundry list of complaints seems to overwhelm at this moment, I know that as I continue to wake up each day, they will disappear. To be replaced with new skin, healthy minutes, and yes other irritations. Because life will go on.

and there IS hope~

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


You aren't a very good wife. Your husband cleans better than you do. He makes the lunches. He folds laundry. He works full time and still cleans the bathroom twice as often as you. You leave early in the morning and he has to let the dog out. You spend evenings out without asking him. You are not a good wife.

You still can't do your job very well. That student doesn't act that way for anyone but you. Shouldn't you be able to do this by now? Why can't you remember how to do that, she told you how yesterday. No one else cries so easily. You aren't good at your job.

You are not a very good mother. You stood at the front door this morning and yelled "Are you dumb?" as they played in the rain. They ignore you half the time. You lose pieces of their uniforms. You forget to sign their binder. You aren't a very good mother.

You are not a very good friend. You talk too much. You text too often. You tell people more than they care to know. You try too hard to please too many. You are not a very good friend.

These are the lies that have been swirling in my head the last day or so. I fight any one of them at any given moment, but yesterday the weight of all 4 major lies felt heavy on my shoulders. Generally, I can have a bad day in one arena, but feel pretty strong in another. Yesterday it was all bad, all the way around.

And I knew they were lies. And I didn't want to succumb to the pity party that I can sometimes find myself attending. I prayed, then and there. I texted some wiser women for truth.

B said "You are the daughter of the King."

D said "I am praying too!! Indeed they are lies. May He fill you completely with His peace." and "You are an amazing mom! We all feel inadequate and quite often overwhelmed. I still do myself. Wonder if we are doing anything right. Its just satan's lies. God is and will direct and guide. Cling to His promises.

S said "You are so NOT a failure. You are precious and wonderful and godly and good and funny and smart and beautiful."

SD said "You have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. Read Ephesians 1:3-8"

While I was not fishing for compliments when I sent out my SOS text, their words were balm to my soul. They spoke love, wisdom and encouragement to me. They prayed for me and lifted me up. I have purposely surrounded myself with strong women, women of character and love, to pour life into me when I need it.

Now while I wish I didn't have these moments of doubt, I know that as long as I am fighting the fight against sin and addiction I will.

and there IS hope~

Tire tracks

Last week I got thrown under the bus. Not literally, of course, but it hurt so bad it might as well have been me on the asphalt with a yellow dog steam rolling across my shoulder blades.

It happened at work. Caught me quite off guard. My supervisor told me that an entire group of people at work were uncomfortable with me. That they felt like I was spying, telling our boss things.  I will freely admit that I text too much. I was encouraged to text less a few months ago, did well for a few days and soon was back to my thumb loving self. When I find lag time I feel the need to communicate with others. It isn't right. I realize that.

What I didn't realize is that others in the room assumed I was passing on information to the higher ups. It seems preposterous to me. First of all, there is no info to pass on, all do their job quite well. Secondly, my boss would never put up with it. And third, I thought I was friends with these people. Like real, I-got-your-back, friends.

And if we were connected like I thought, then my friends would know that I wouldn't do that, if there was even anything to do. And, being a people pleaser, it tore me up to think that an entire subset of coworkers were unhappy with me. To know that they had talked about me and come to the conclusion that I was making their life harder, and less enjoyable.

I cried. I offered to go to them, to face them and tell them I hadn't done such things. See, in my program step 10 says to take a personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it. While I hadn't passed on info, I had done something to make them think it had happened. I was ready to look into their eyes and ask for forgiveness. I was told to let my supervisor handle it. I thanked her for going to bat for me, for defending me. {And while I didn't face them as a group, I have gone to several of them, one on one and apologized. It has been well received and accepted.}

Later in the day I learned that perhaps my supervisor was told an inflated version of the story. That maybe they weren't ALL upset with me. That maybe one of the coworkers tends to overreact and exaggerate.  I felt relieved, frustrated, angry and still upset.

Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this woman is really hurting. To accuse another of such things in the manner that she did is ugly. It is rude and spiteful. And I know that hurt people hurt people. So I did what would have been impossible three years ago. I decided to pray for this woman. That she might feel safe and secure and loved.

Don't get me wrong, I am keeping a professional distance from her. No personal questions about the weekend or reading her Mother's Day cards she has propped up on display on her desk. I am not my jovial, super friendly self when we pass in the hall. But I am making eye contact, doing my job and speaking to her.

And I am no longer speaking much of this incident. It was a lesson to me. A hard, painful lesson, but aren't so many that way?

there IS hope~

Sunday, May 6, 2012


About 6 weeks ago I had a dream that I drank on May 6th. Or it may have been May 4th, I can't remember exactly. I do remember that it was a party of sorts and I was drinking. At the end of the night I turned to my husband and asked him what on earth I had said when I decided to take that first drink after 3+ years of sobriety. He couldn't remember.

That part of the dream remains vivid to me. What was it, what made me think the time had come to drink? What changed my mind? What made me say 'Now it is okay." ?

Because sometimes I think about that. I think, will there come a day when I'll drink again? My program says One day at a time. And it definitely helps for me to just make the decision not to drink at this moment. But still, I wonder....

Anyway, I told my counselor about my dream. She was a bit intrigued too. She asked if I had anything on the calendar for that date, and at the time I didn't. She encouraged me to really think about my decision if I ever drank again, not to just be out one night and think 'Oh, what the heck, I think I'll have a glass of wine.'

I like that idea. That there may indeed come a day when I drink again. But it will be because of a well thought out decision on my part not just a whim when out with friends. Though I do not think drinking will ever successfully fit back into my life, there is some power in that process.

Fast forward to last night. I was at a Kentucky Derby dinner with dancing. It was so fun, I wore a fancy hat and mingled with some of our city's movers and shakers. There was a cash bar and wine bottles on our table. During the cocktail hour and dinner I was content with my ice water. However, near the end of the evening it was just my husband and me left at the table. Most of the other folks had left. {We rarely get an evening out to dance without kids and planned on closing the place down}As we sat down between songs I noticed about a glass and a half of wine left in the bottle. And I thought- Its just my husband here... There is a limited amount of wine available... I could have a glass....

Then the shocking de ja vu hit.....last night could have been my dream! I could have decided just that easily to drink, to give up my 40+ months of sobriety. Oh my! I kind of mumbled to my husband that I almost asked for the wine. Yet inside I was shaking a little. And so grateful for the dream that warned me to be on guard. To think through the drink. To realize it could be that easy.

We got up, danced a few more times and left. And I'm still sober.

there IS hope~