06:35 Made coffee. Have done Headspace meditation (free trial, Day 4, 5 mins). Mind wandered to blogging, then to summer plans with relatives.
Principle thought: felt I was becoming over-concerned with product, rather than process; time to return to process. Yesterday and day before, I returned to done-listing. Effective.
Also a bit of prayer, morning and night:
(I’ll change your name, when a previous one temporarily or no longer seems to connect)
I offer myself to you
to build with me and do with me as you will
take away my bonds of ego
so that I may better do your will.
take away my troubles, so that those I wish to help
can bear witness to your Power, your Love and your
way of life.
(based on AA step 3 prayer)
Then a thought-purge:
Last year when I first started reading the AA Big Book, I started a personal inventory spreadsheet as suggested on p. 64. Suggested headings were as follows:
I’m resentful at:
Affects my: self-esteem (fear), security, sex-relations, personal relations)
[sorry table not working will reformat or replace with screenshot later]
I made a list that day, a nice lengthy one, but never added to it. Why? Mainly because of OCO (obsessive-compulsive orderliness) issues. I wanted things organized by date and yet that would require a different spreadsheet for each day. That seemed too labour intensive. So, it’s pretty much been sitting there untouched since then. But according to Step 10, of course we have to keep working Step 4 so that resentments don’t get in the way of recovery, because,
“Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more [people in recovery] than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper.” — Inc, A.A. World Services. Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition (p. 64). A.A. World Services, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
(I have replaced the word “alcoholics” with “people in recovery.”)
Today I tried a new format of keeping a “Step 4” personal inventory: it’s basically in list form. Thus I can easily add it to any journal entry without having to make columns nor tables. I also add a fourth element: “Remedy”:
Personal Inventory: resentments
I’m resentful at: [extended family-member]:
Why: doesn’t say please when asking for help, nor acknowledge my help to others in the family
Affects my: personal relations (I feel she tries to undermine my position in the family by making it appear to others that I don’t help as much as I do; I feel she resents me, don’t love nor even like me, thus I must be unloveable or unlikeable); self esteem (I allow myself to be treated like a servant)
Cure: remember why you’re doing this (to help another human being in need), remember that your worth doesn’t depend on someone loving you or liking you, remember that she appears to talk about or treat most people in a similar way, remember that you are not obliged to help. Release yourself from obligation so that you can serve mindfully, graciously and free from resentment, or not at all. Allow universal power to serve her (through you at times, if you feel moved, but do not expect any recognition and do not lower yourself in an effort to become more appealing). Continue to retain boundaries (e.g. when she complains that you are unreachable via [x method of communication], remind her that you are in fact still reachable [by x method, x method and/or x method])
I’m resentful at: husband
Why: Doesn’t seem to appreciate my efforts; doesn’t seem to show affection unless wants something, and then the affection does not seem personal
Affects my: self esteem (measuring my self-worth by other’s opinions, praise and/or lack thereof), personal relations (I don’t feel loved and appreciated, I feel objectified, I feel replaceable), personal relations (I long to feel loved); security (I am committed, yet dependent)
Remedy: remember you are trying your best and that is all you can do, remember the universe will take care of you if you continue on the right path, remember he is doing his best too, and has a lot on his plate
I’m resentful at: kids
Why: when I am trying my best (e.g. technology limits, chores, lessons) mothering is the hardest (so much argumentation, whining, resistance, manipulation)
Affects my: self-esteem (I am a failure, I am weak for being affected by this negative behaviour), personal relations (seeming lack of love, in the moment they rebel), security (what if I don’t do a good job of raising them and their lives don’t turn out as well as they could and it’s all my fault)
Remedy: remember, again, you’re doing your best; learn to release attachment to outcome; if you’re doing your best, and following instincts rather than social expectations (most important thing in childrearing), you’ll have no regrets.
I’m resentful at: [perceived “super-person”]
Why: seems to want to retain the upper hand in our interactions, seems to refuse to just be equals/peers
Affects my: self esteem (I subconsciously allow others to determine my place in the world; i.e. above, beneath or on par); security (“my way of [doing x] isn’t good enough;” “I’ll never be successful”)
Remedy: remember people who attempt to retain the upper hand are not yet awakened and/or are hurting inside, has nothing to do with you personally, limit interactions for awhile if necessary; set boundaries for yourself
I’m resentful at: world
Why: perceived evils — discrimination, racism, violence, etc…
Affects my: security — I fear deeply for my children (I want them to be neither victims nor aggressors)
Remedy: acceptance. Remember there cannot be good without bad, bright without dark; the world just is — it’s how you see it that makes the difference; focus on the good things which light you up inside and thus bring light to others, rather than focussing and worrying about the bad things, which makes you fearful, paralyzed with indecision and useless)
I’m resentful at: myself
Why: for not doing more, for not going to talk to [x organizations] about the above issues, for not attempting to make more change
Affects my: self-esteem (“I’m a failure, I’m not enough, I’m lazy, I’m a coward”)
Remedy: remember you are doing the best you can. Remember you are not responsible for the world, but only your part in it. Focus on what you are doing that is good, and ultimately, do more of that. Helping the world doesn’t have to mean suffering and fighting. In fact, suffering and fighting is the very meaning of war, i.e. what you wish to “fight” against)
That was it for today.
11:30 Town notes (school drop off and grocery shopping):
- had wanted to ask main regular shop where if they stocked non-alcoholic wines, but was too shy/fearful of being secretly labelled “that foreign woman who must have a drinking problem.” (Actually I’m shy/fearful to ask the women who work there anything, period — the cashiers scare the crap out of me)
- was sunny this morning. While picking up a hose connector for H’s yard project, noticed group of men sitting outside at the bar, each with a coffee plus a glass of beer or spirits. It was 10:30 a.m. Felt nostalgic about drinking socially in the sun, but happy I was past it because it never was all it was cracked up to be (I remember still feeling spiritually hungry, always wanting *more.* i.e. this would be so much better with a cigarette. Or if [fill-in-the-blank with favourite person place or thing] was here. Or… etc. etc. etc.
- Passed by the yarn shop, tried on the gorgeous hand-knitted shawl in the window; considered knitting as a past-time instead of blogging. But in the end, bought the shawl, instead of the ball… this shawl seriously, seriously rocks. Can’t really explain how much it rocks. It’s just beautiful and 100% cotton and perfect for summer. Really grateful to the yarn-shop lady for making it and selling it. Still, thought about buying a few balls of this yarn and starting a knitted shawl business on Instagram…
15:03 Saw this blog post come up in “suggested for you” on WordPress: https://zeroproofbookclub.com/about/
Fell in love with this sentence on that page: “Faced with hours upon hours of free time after she stopped drinking, [Jackie Mantey] discovered a newfound love for embroidering on top of black and white images.”
- Considered embroidering black and white images as a past-time instead of blogging
- Wondered if I could make a business out of it
- Doubted it. Most likely, embroidery’s like blogging: more often a calling than a living.
- Still might be worth it for the fun. Here’s how it’s done, according to DuckDuckGo: Photo-transfer-to-cloth method vs embroidery-on-paper method
- #ironies #lifepurpose #musings #howtoearnaliving #whilerealhousewifing
21:11 decided there was no freaking way I had the patience for what was involved in embroidering black and white images
But maybe the knitted-shawl thing could still work. :))
Also spoiled myself with some makeup from the grocery store today. It’s the same colours I’ve been wearing for decades, but my last set of eyeshadows were shattered and my mascara had finally run out after about ten years, so I thought what the heck. And splurged on some beautiful-looking facial oils (usually my only moisturizer is olive oil scented with patchouli and rose essentials). Here’s a photo of my “beauty haul.”
Applied makeup for the first time in a while (voilà, I have eyelashes again!). Felt pretty fab, but must admit I longed for the fun times I used to have at the neighbours,’ when there were actually friends to notice if I made an effort. However, I don’t miss the day-afters. And I know from following other sobriety bloggers that fun times with friends will one day come again. Just takes time.
Thanks, other sobriety bloggers!
Namely want to mention Shawna Rae of “A Sober Miracle” who had this awesome “Speaker Meeting” post, and who mentioned Mrs. D’s blog to me in a comment on my Day 76 post. I checked out Mrs. D’s website and found this podcast that she is on (“Alcohol Free Life” by Janey Lee Grace), it freaking ROCKED!!!!!!!!!! I love love loved Mrs. D, a.k.a. Lotta Dann; she’s from New Zealand and her voice and positive self-caring energy reminded me so much of my top favourite “Real Housewife,” Jackie Gillies. (Though Jackie Gillies is Australian. And she runs a booze biz, while Mrs. D has been sober for 7-plus years. :)))
Mrs. D’s mentioning the importance of self-care and “sober treats” on the podcast definitely helped spur me into the above splurges, since I’d been feeling a bit sober-gruntled.
I want to buy Mrs. D’s book now. I have such a backlog of books…. but this one looks like too much fun to put off:
Mrs. D has a list of other quit lit, as well as her own second book, on her book page. Check it out: http://livingwithoutalcohol.blogspot.com/p/brain-food.html
22:51 my poor youngest baby has chickenpox and he just came downstairs and needed a re-tuck-in. Yawn. Time to tuck myself in now…
Oh, one last blog I have to mention right now… Sober Woman Writes. Amazing. This gal, like Shawna Rae of “A Sober Miracle,” must have a book in her future, methinks…
nighty night, sobriety lovers.
00:13 p.s. I so did not go to bed then… and my baby is still itchy from pox and just came down again! 😩
sobrietytree.home.blog / sobrietytree.com