Monday, March 30, 2009

An interesting situation arose for us on Saturday night.  We went out with friends, had a lovely dinner and watched a movie at someone's home, enjoying the company and some homemade wine.  Afterward, we ended up having to drive one of D's closest friends home because he'd had too much.  I normally wouldn't have thought much of this--we've all been there at one point or another, and sometimes time gets away from you.  However, there were several things said on the drive home that led both D and I to believe that our good friend V may be (or may be becoming) an alcoholic.  D spent a great deal of the drive talking to V, and ended up trying to give some general advice without specifically mentioning addiction.  As I sat in the backseat, it was more than a little uncomfortable to see D in a position I am all too familiar with--the helper/savior/friend who tries to reason an addict out of addictive behavior.  Honestly, he did a pretty good job dealing with the situation, but it was incredibly hard for me not to just step in and scream that nothing he was saying would do any good if V doesn't want to stop drinking for himself.  I asked D later to be careful--because I'd been there.  I know now that helping is not always possible.  And I don't want to see D get burned.  And then I remembered the things I've been working on, and took a step back.  

And so I sit back and remember that it's not my job to control anyone's behavior--D's with regard to SA, V's with regard to alcohol, or even D's with regard to helping/codependence.  I'm finding more strength every day in working my own recovery, and so whatever happens to my friend I leave to my (and his) higher power (but any prayer/good thoughts/karma you might have to send his way would, of course, be appreciated).  

Friday, March 27, 2009


It's raining here.  It started a couple of days ago and is supposed to continue through the weekend, with more due later next week.  It feels so good.  I told a good friend the other day how excited I was that it was raining, and she looked at me like I was nuts.  "But you hate rain!" she exclaimed.  

That's not entirely true--I only hate rain sometimes.  There's such a difference, you see, between winter rain and summer rain.  This is the first good summer rain we've had this season.  Winter rain is a slap in the face, the exclamation point at the end of the nasty weather sentence.  I hate rain in the winter because I hate the cold.  When it's cold, rain only makes it colder.  It makes it impossible to ever get warm.  You walk around outside for even a minute and your pants are soaked and it would take an inferno to get you thawed out.  Rain in the winter also freezes and makes it hard to get anywhere.  It's sinister, malevolent, and reminds me (who loves the heat) just how far I am from feeling comfortable and cozy and happy.  

Summer rain is a different beast.  I love summer.  I love the heat and the long days and the flowers and the smell of cut grass.  I love the beach and the pool, grilling out and stopping for ice cream.  I even love the rain.  Rain in the summer is fresh--it has purpose and potential, renewing the landscape and relieving the awful burden of heat and drought.  Rain in the summer feels like relief.  In the winter, rain makes everything so gray--in the summer and spring it seems to only make the greens even greener, colors brighter against the darker backdrop.  It is benevolent and reminds me to slow down and just listen to the drops.  It feels good as it splashes on my bare legs and flip-flops.  It makes me feel alive. 

This week has been the first summer rain of this season.  Things are automatically turning greener, and that fabulous smell that just says "spring" is in the air.  I can pop open my umbrella without shivering and there is so much potential in the air for the summer that it feels like the clouds are going to explode with it.  It's a good, clean, content feeling.  

I always feel my best in the summer.  For this one, my plans are set and I feel like I'm moving forward in a lot of good ways.  This year especially I am more than ready.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Just wanted to post that I got the internship I was hoping for for this summer!  I'm very, very excited...I would post more details but just about anything I say about it would probably be unwise for anonymity's sake.  Let's just say I'll be getting a lot of hands-on experience for my future career much earlier than I usually would and working with some really awesome people.  


Monday, March 23, 2009

Taking Action

After my last post, I decided it was time to get my butt into gear and stop sitting around worrying about all my problems and actually do something about them.  I went through my old e-mails and realized just how long it had been since I'd attended an online meeting.  Reading through all of the "topic" emails, I realized how much even just reading those little topics gives me something to focus on and work toward for a week.  I also signed onto the JWC for the first time in a long while, and it was like fate was waiting for me.  A long time ago, several people on the SA Codies board had been discussing starting a group and working through the Recovery Nation program together.  I had been interested, but in the absence of my computer and my general lack of participation over the past few months, I had all but forgotten about it.  When I signed in, there was an invitation just waiting for me.  I decided to give it a shot, and so far I've worked through the first couple of exercises.  I think this is going to be an incredibly good thing for me--just reading through the introduction to the partner's program got me really excited, mainly because it felt like it was literally written for me and my situation and my very own personal issues.  

The exercise the group is currently working on is a simple one, but far more difficult than I initially thought it would be.  The idea is to create a vision for your life, in any aspects that you can imagine.  To sit back and picture what values you used to have that drove your life and how you want to use those values in the future, how you want to put little things into practice to make your life the life you want.  I've written a lot down about it, but keep going back and revising as I think more about who I am and what I want.  It's the most liberating feeling--ever since D and I both started down this recovery road, I've been focusing on and off (or rather, trying to focus on, then forgetting, slipping, etc. and then trying to remember to focus) on the idea of "what I want."  As the world's biggest people pleaser, this has never been easy, but writing it out this way is pretty empowering.  It makes me feel much more directed and motivated and ready to tackle myself again.  

Friday, March 20, 2009

Two Steps Back

Ugh.  Here we are again.  D had a PO appointment yesterday and I drove along, being on spring break and all.  Usually when I go, I look at it as a rare opportunity to spend some quality time together in the car since it essentially takes all day, between driving to the PO's office (which is about 2 hours away from where we live now), then driving to his counseling class (which is an hour away from there), then home.  Normally I rush out of class, skipping lectures sometimes to get home in time to leave with him.  Yesterday, I was almost sick at the thought of going.  

I'm not sure why I was so upset about it--maybe because the past several times I've gone, I've convinced myself that there's just no way I have time to go in to the meeting with D.  I tell him each time that I'll have to use that time to study.  Usually, he asks me to go in with him once we arrive and by then I accede, knowing that he values the support so much.  The PO likes me, and likes when I come because he sees it as proof that D is establishing a support system and being held to honesty about what's happened in his past week, proof that we are tackling this problem together rather than (like on the last go-round) D just skipping along without tackling his problems at all.  So I usually go in, but I don't usually think about it until right at the moment when it comes time to go in.  I think that makes it easier because then I don't have time to concentrate so much on the fears--fear of being seen in the courthouse of my old city by someone who knows me, fear of the judgment that I'm sure people in the probation office make of me (the crazy wife who stayed with the sex addict, what an idiot/mental case she must be), fear of D being judged too harshly.  Yesterday I was feeling all of those fears from the get-go.  

D knew something was up because I cannot hide my feelings well.  For once, I was up front about my feelings, but that of course upset him because he was actually feeling really good about the day, with nothing negative to report to the PO.  We talked most of the way to the meeting about how lately I've just been feeling myself slip a little bit at a time.  In general, things have been going really well--I'm on break, I feel refreshed and happy, life is good--but in between those things I have been cracking a bit.  I have been negative, angry, reactive, and I have been falling back into that place where my worries and insecurities control me and I in turn become a control freak.  The insecurities have been hanging on my back whispering sweet-nothings in my ear for a month or two now, and for the most part I've been ignoring their presence but it's building and getting harder.  I've gotten frustrated with the lack of progress that's been going on for me--especially in light of D, who seems to be the model of progress lately.  It's obvious that he has a new outlook on life, that his reactions and thought processes have legitimately changed from his old way of thinking.  For a while, I felt that that was also true for me, but lately it's just been one step forward, two steps back.  

He encouraged me to think positively, like he'd been trying to do.  He gave some examples of things that have helped him change his thought processes.  He saw into the heart of the problem and encouraged me to let go of all the fears that I live in daily and just live.  I listened--but yet here I sit today feeling better but still not better.  And I know that all of this craziness is really making life worse for me and for D, because it's starting to get to the point where I'm just acting out again, trying to control everyone and everything around me and freaking out if any tiny thing upsets the perfect balance of what I've put in place.  I've tried praying, meditating, asking my higher power to help me let go of all this and find some means of crawling my way back to the peace I had a pretty good hand on a while back, but then the horrible negative thoughts creep their way back into my brain and here I am.  I'm going to try going back to my online COSA meetings, which I'd been neglecting for a while because of workload, but maybe that's what I need to get myself straight again.  At the very least, it can't hurt. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


One of the greatest joys I've found in having some financial stability again is that I have a little extra money to pursue one of my all-time favorite hobbies--scrapbooking.  I used to scrapbook like crazy  In high school, I documented everything in pictures and spent oodles of cash at the local scrapbook store finding the perfect papers and stickers and cutouts.  In college, I didn't have the time or money to really keep up with it anymore, and so my lovely little "University" scrapbook has sat empty for nigh on these many years.  I have pictures from a trip to Europe several years ago that have languished on my computer along with shots from my wedding, honeymoon, family vacations, and random nights out.  When my computer died a few weeks ago and the retrieval of my hard-drive's contents was unsure, I felt almost sick about all this--that I might lose all these precious pictures that were the tactile reminders of happy memories, never having had the chance to print them and document them appropriately.  When the hard drive was saved, I promised that one of the first things I would do when we got our tax refund was to start printing pictures.  

It's now spring break, we have our money, and I have my computer back.  A few days ago, I sat with my external hard drive where things were backed up and transferred over 4,000 pictures back to my mac.  When iPhoto opened, each picture flashed in front of me from a split second as they loaded, and it was a surreal experience--my life, quite literally flashing before my eyes.  And as I watched each moment go by, I thought about how if life really does flash before your eyes when you die, that I would be ok if it looked like this, with all of these pictures--my little sister smiling on her graduation day, me in front of the Trevi fountain, my former teammates laughing, my entire family crammed together for an impromptu beach shot, the close-ups of stupid-happy giddy smiles that mark self-portrait pictures taken the moment after D and I got engaged, my first view of the flowers on my wedding day, our first dance, our honeymoon hikes, my dog and parents and grandparents and family and friends.  Christmases, vacations, school.  All of them happy.  All of them smiling.  

Sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down in a dreary moment, or day, or week.  There are times I let myself get so hung up on the little (or big) things that just aren't going right that it's hard to see the big picture.  But the big picture is really just a series of small ones--all those happy moments that remind me that even in the darkest of days my life has been pretty darn amazing so far and stands to continue in that direction if I just relax and let it happen and find the picture-perfect memories still interwoven with everything else. 

Monday, March 16, 2009


1. Spending an entire day yesterday with D, in which neither of us had to study/work/be anywhere or do anything other than what we came up with on the spot. 

2. Ending that day with a fabulous talk in bed, in which we candidly discussed the good things in our lives, and encouraged each other with ideas to deal with the bad ones.  

3. A new best friend who balances out my insecurities perfectly and helps me feel brave enough to overcome them.  

4. A week off and an all-day shopping spree. 

5. Government money that has paid off our car and credit card debt. 

I feel refreshed today, and I think it's partially because it's Spring Break, but also from a bunch of other things.  A friend looked at me on Saturday and pointed out that he could tell I was on break, because I was happy.  He could tell I was not worrying about the next study session or test or whatnot.  I guess sometimes you don't realize just how stressed you are until you aren't.  As a result, I'm going to fully indulge in these few days off and plan out some fun activities for the next few weeks (especially now that it's legitimately becoming spring!) to help stave off that level of stress from creeping up on me again. 

Monday, March 9, 2009


I have become re-obsessed with decorating.  There are so many things I want to do to make my house look "finished"--most of them small, but all the small things seem to add up pretty quickly into a lot.  But yesterday, after I cleaned up the place, I ran to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things, and they had bouquets of tulips on sale for $5.  I bought a bouquet of orange ones, and they are now enshrined in the middle of my kitchen table, and they make me happier than should probably be allowed. 

Maybe it's just that spring is finally here. :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Getting Fit

One of the myriad things that happened in my last months hiatus was my acquisition (finally!) of a Wii Fit, thanks to a dear friend who was insane enough to be driving around out in the middle of the ice storm about a month ago.  I didn't write about it then, because as soon as he retrieved it for me, our Wii up and died.  So it had to get sent off and fixed and now is back, and so I finally got to try out the Wii fit for the first time a couple of nights ago.  Let me tell you folks, I consider myself to be a pretty in-shape person--I was an athlete all growing up and, while I haven't exactly been religious about it since I began graduate school, have been at least relatively attentive to my staying-in-shape needs.  So let it come as no small thing when I say I was in significant pain the day after my first little twenty minute workout.  

The thing is, it didn't feel like I even did anything!  Ten reps each of some strengthening exercises, two cardio drills and as much yoga as I could do (you have to unlock a lot of things in the game before you have access to an entire workout).  When I finished, I even thought it had been too easy, that I wasn't going to get as much out of this as I thought.  Clearly, I was wrong.  Apparently the whole stress on balance and center of gravity and core strength worked my body in ways I was not only unused to, but completely unprepared for.  

Final review:  If you, like me, have little time and money to get to a gym, I highly, highly recommend Wii Fit--just don't go into it all naive like I did, lest you not be able to move the next day. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Job Interviews

I just realized it's now been over a month since I've written.  I guess you could say that's a good thing, since generally my desire to write stems from my desire to work out problems that are too big to deal with in my head.  In fact, I'd say it's been quite a good thing that I haven't had one of those oh-my-god-i-can't-think-so-angry/sad/frustrated/whatever-have-to-vent-somewhere kind of days in a long while.  Maybe this whole working on myself thing is actually....well, you know, working. 

We've been through a fair number of ups and downs in the past month.  Things have, overall, been going very well, with the downs coming from two job interviews D has had.  Both interviews were for promotions at his current employer, which, according to all of his bosses, he was the best candidate for.  When he interviewed for the first position, he was thrilled with his interview performance and relatively sure that he would be a top choice.  When the interviewers called the next day, they informed him that he had had the best interview, the best ideas, he was the most prepared and enthusiastic and qualified--but he was number two.  The winner, instead, was a candidate considered by many to be the least qualified of the bunch in the area of management skill, but the most qualified in terms of hair color and southern drawl and bust size.  (Sorry, I sound bitchy.  I'm trying desperately to get over it.)  D was understandably frustrated but actually took the whole thing with far more grace than I expected--far more than I exhibited, in any case--and moved on to the next opportunity.  This time, another candidate from out-of-state with far more experience surprisingly applied and experience won out.  

All of this has indeed been frustrating, but it's also brought some interesting factors to light.  Throughout the whole process, D has been gracious and accepting and positive, more so than I would have ever imagined.  I, on the other hand, have been ungracious, upset, and angry (though not necessarily to his face).  And I realized, thinking about my unnecessary anger in the face of D's all-around Zen attitude, that this is just another little aspect of my control freak trying to ooze her way back out through the cracks.  Here I thought I was doing really well and making strides in my efforts to accept the things I can't change, and this whole job scenario just goes to show that I am still just trudging along.  I get upset, you see, because I want to shelter him from feeling upset. I hate when other people are upset--and I've always, always seen it as my personal duty to bring them back to a happy place.  I have worked to focus on my own feelings when others are out of whack, but I cannot bear to see them disappointed, and so I try to take ownership of something that was never my problem.  I can certainly empathize with my husband and do what I can in terms of support, but I think I've gone beyond that now and am currently reaching into the realms of codie mind tricks.  So now I'm just trying to reconcile to myself the fact that things will not always go perfectly, for me or D or anybody else for that matter, but when those things are not of my own doing then they are not my responsibility to fix.  I can't change the interview selection.  I can't even go yell at the idiots doing the selecting because that won't do any good.  I just have to accept that it's not my battle and keep working on doing what I can do to find happiness no matter what idiocy goes on around me.