Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Super Spy

Today is one of those days when I have to remind myself how much happier I am when I don't try to control everyone's life.  Some days it comes so much easier than others and unfortunately I don't think I get an easy day today.  

I don't know what made me do it, because I wasn't feeling suspicious or angry or really anything at all the other night, but a couple nights ago I did the old codie-check of D's phone and found a couple of texts he'd sent to a (girl) friend discussing a trip she wanted to take to France to go mountain biking.  Nothing strange or odd--I know this girl, she's a very old friend of D's, and this is something she'd want to do.  Until the one where he said something about the beaches being awkward.  And then she replied that nude beaches were gross.  And then he said something about topless ones not being so bad but old men in speedos being gross.  (Cue freakout here.)  

I confronted him about it immediately, and pretty calmly too actually.  I just asked him what was up with it, showed him the message.  He said that it wasn't anything, that he had just been joking with her about the gross old men in speedos, hadn't meant anything by anything.  I asked him about it again this morning because it's been niggling around in the back of my head and bugging me since then, wondering if he really, really could have said something like that without even one iota of him meaning it in a suggestive way.  He still claims it was nothing.  I still don't feel satisfied.  Maybe he really was just saying that it wouldn't be bad for her, as a girl.  Maybe it was just a harmless joke and I'm overreacting.  But I don't know, and that's the rub.  Now I'm struggling with the fine line between maintaining my boundaries and not trying to control him and his recovery.  

I need to just learn to quit with the super-spy work. 

Friday, April 24, 2009


My online COSA group has lately been having a lot of meetings that center on perfection--talking about the fact that many in the groups are perfectionists to the extent that it hurts us, causes us to pick apart our every waking moment and find all that is wrong with it, then feel ashamed that we aren't doing better.  Couldn't sum me up much better--I am a total perfectionist, and it has often brought me to really bad places when I turn that magnifying glass on myself.  

In conjunction with the perfection topic, another recent meeting focused on something similar, but far more difficult--loving ourselves.  Rethinking "perfection" as accepting who we are and where we are right now.  And in a recent meeting this spread into a topic of listing 5 things you liked about yourself.  Now for me, the ultimate perfectionist, I have an incredibly easy time telling you every single thing that's wrong with me--my flaws, imperfections, problems, qualities I lack.  Coming up with 5 things I like was actually more of a challenge than I thought it would be...but here they are. 

  • I love my eyes.  I love their color, their depth, and I think they really are (more than for others) a window to my soul. 
  • I love my intelligence and the places it's taking me. 
  • I love my athleticism and the fact that I can still do a lot of my old moves. 
  • I love the attitude I get when I dress up in heels and mascara and walk confidently into a room--for whatever reason. 
  • I love the part of me that is developing into a more confident and content person. 
It is so warm today that I'm not going to waste one more minute sitting inside on a computer--heading out to the deck for some sunshine.  Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not waiting any more...



Seriously, so excited.  We both are.  Thanks for all your prayers, good thoughts, and crossed fingers. 


We are waiting today to find out if D will get the promotion he interviewed for yesterday.  Every time the phone rings both of us are jumpy.  This is his third shot since February, and he is nervous because the past two times he has been told that he had the best qualifications, the best interview, but he was not offered the position.  Each time this has happened, my heart breaks for him because he is trying so hard--it's one of the most significantly noticable changes that have taken place in him since he started recovery.  He is on time, motivated, hard working, and brilliantly creative--and has turned each previous rejection into a way for him to improve so that he has a better shot next time.  I know that things will work out the way they are meant to, but I can't help but hope that this is his shot--not only for us (because we could use the extra money) but for him--to give him a sense that all this hard work is not for nothing.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grateful Today

I read an e-mail from my online COSA group last night that outlined the topic of an upcoming meeting.  The discussion was going to be based on staying in the moment and appreciating the present for what it is, even if we are unsatisfied--to be at peace with the idea that at every moment, we are exactly where we need to be right then.  

I have for a long time had issues with this concept--I am, at my heart, a planner.  I plan things in my head eons in advance and have been known amongst certain circles as a "list goddess."  My life has been meticulously crafted in these lists and plans and ideas for as long as I can remember.  I would sit in high school making lists of all the colleges I was applying to and all the scholarships I needed to finish and what homework was due on what day.  In college, I made lists of volunteer work that I had done and research projects that I was pursuing in order to apply to graduate school.  When I planned my wedding, I had lists on lists on lists of everything--caterer's options, things to be done that week, guests, gifts, thank you notes written, appointments.  Even now, I have a plan for pretty much exactly what will happen to me as I journey through grad school, what steps need to be taken in which years in order to apply for positions at the end.  I plan for "what will I do on Saturday" with as much voracity as I worry about "what will happen to D and I in the future."  I didn't really think about it until yesterday, but I tend to live in the future.  A lot.  

Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to wake up a little and enjoy exactly where I am.  I have so much to be grateful for right here, right now, after all.  Today, I am in a good place.  I am working on myself and seeing progress.  I spoke up last night about my feelings without beating around the bush and D and I had a legitimate dialogue that left us both satisfied, so I am grateful for where I am, and where we are in our recovery as a couple.  D is sober and happy.  The sun has finally come out and warm weather looks like it is here to stay.  I am working away like the good little research assistant I am, and I am deeply, deeply satisfied with my work.  Every day that I pursue this career I am more sure of its rightness for me.  I feel with utmost conviction that that e-mail was right--with no worries about what tomorrow has in store, I am, right now, exactly where I need to be.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


As of today, D has the opportunity to "throw" for a promotion within his company.  He has applied for, interviewed for, and been rejected for such a promotion twice now.  He is more optimistic about his chances for this one because the manager for this particular department knows him, they get along well, and she has spoken very highly of him in the past.  

The past two promotions he applied for seemed perfect fits--down to the fact that at the first one, the manager wanted D to take "admin days" every Thursday where he would be able to leave early.  This was incredibly advantageous because Thursday is the day when, each week, D goes to his counseling class and (every other week) his PO appointments.  His current job allows him to customize his schedule and work weekend days in exchange for Thursdays. This promotion, however, may not allow him to take off Thursdays.  He's pretty sure that going to his specific class on Thursday is a non-negotiable part of his probation, and so he is discouraged that he may not be able to take a position that could be offered, thus black-listing himself for future promotions in the company.  He has decided to speak to the manager about the possibility before interviewing, but I know he is still worried (and I am, too) about all the possible negative outcomes.  And so, we are praying for the positives and the peace to accept whatever comes, but I would ask that anyone out there send their prayers, positive thoughts, good karma, etc.  his way (our way), because letting go of the future is still one of the hardest things to do. 

Looking for Reasons

I've been feeling suspicious the last couple of days.  It's not because of anything that's happened, necessarily, it's just there.  I've been trying to be introspective and figure out what feelings are behind this, but I'm having trouble, so of course I turn to writing to see if there's anything lurking in my brain that my subconscious is hiding from me but that my fingers might unwittingly be aware of.  

Part of it, I think, is that things have been going well lately.  Yes, you read that right, but remember I'm a crazy person--I think part of the discomfort I'm feeling is because I am not used to things going this well for this long without something being hidden beneath the surface, making it all a farce.  If things feel good, there must be something terribly wrong going on that I just haven't brought to light yet.  I don't know if this is true or not, but I think my brain almost doesn't know what to do without some form of upheaval or tension brewing.   The sad thing is that I don't think anything sinister is happening, but I am having to use everything in my power to prevent myself from completely backsliding.  I've been checking the e-mail more, recently.  It makes me uncomfortable because I know that I will always find something if I look hard enough, even if nothing is there at all.  The one good thing is that I've kept myself from checking the phone records, which are my biggest and baddest trigger.  

I pray every morning and every night for help to let go, but in between my brain and my codie self remind me that if I am keeping on top of things and making sure D's recovery goes well, then no one else will and it will fail and things will spiral out of control and back into madness.  Except it doesn't work that way--and the rational part of me remembers how poorly things go when I try to control everything.  And so I take to simply repeating my newfound mantras in my head, over and over, until the fears and suspicions and compulsions are drowned out or go away--there are no what ifs, I cannot control others, I am a strong and valid person.  Now if I could just convince myself it was all true, I'd be golden. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Back from the asylum

And...another exam week has come and gone.  Thank God that one's over.  This was possibly the roughest two weeks of my graduate career--I studied more information in more detail and longer than I think I ever have, and it culminated with eight hours of exams on Friday.  I have never in my life been physically tired from a test, even from the hardest ones--but yesterday and today I have slept like my life depended on it.  Now I feel refreshed and--if not quite ready to go back to classes--at least no longer completely depressed about the idea of arriving nice and early tomorrow.  

In between the long (and much needed) episodes of sleep, the weekend has managed to be extremely fun and productive.  My school had a party for the graduate students after our exams Friday night, and D and I were both able to go and dance and enjoy ourselves for a bit.  It was so pleasant--events like this are not D's thing, and in the past whenever I'd ask him to go he would agree but then (often) make my night completely unenjoyable because he clearly did not want to be there.  He would purposely make us late, be visibly annoyed or upset, and I would inevitably let it ruin my evening.  Friday night I was determined to utilize some of the tools I'm learning in recovery and have a good night for myself no matter what he did/said/felt/looked like.  Keeping his mood from affecting mine, as it were, which is a big project for me right now. As it turned out, the evening was wonderful.  I had a great time with my colleagues and enjoyed the night for myself.  While D probably wasn't the most thrilled person in the world to be dressed up and introduced to dozens of people in a loud room, he was polite and enthusiastic and lovely, and the best part was I think I would have enjoyed myself even if he weren't (though it was certainly an added bonus).  

Yesterday I took advantage of my study-free day and found some new professional-wear for my internship this summer (what I had was beginning to get too small or had moth holes).  It's amazing what a good pencil skirt and heels can do for my mood.  Tomorrow it's back to the grindstone, but for now I'm just going to sit back and enjoy my momentarily un-scheduled life.