Know when to push through, and when to rest…

Hello friends, I miss writing and interacting with all of you. I wish I could be on here more, but between health struggles and working crazy hours, I don’t get on the computer too much, and I detest typing on my kindle. Here is some insight into my days…

Today is one of the bad days. I have been struggling all week, but just kept pushing through. Now, today my body says: “No More!”

Is it my thyroid? Is it my depression? Is it my insomnia?  Is it just my sinuses acting up, which is causing this horrible headache and exhaustion? Maybe it is a combination, or none of them at all. I never really know. I just use my natural remedies, paired with medicine, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, it has been over two hours since I took the last of my “please make me feel better” pills, and yet I feel no better.

My children are disappointed, because we will not make our co-op gathering today. I am angry and sad, because at 40 years old, I should be able to function on a daily basis, without all this pain and grogginess.

It feels like I have been sick forever, but in reality my symptoms only got to this level in the past year. They have been especially bad the past 6 months, since I started working overnights. Beth has declared that when I am better, she wants to use all her dollars to take us out to celebrate mom being healthy again. While, this is beyond sweet, it also tells me how much my illness affects my babies.

Tomorrow it is back to work. I will have 3 twelve hours shifts, walking 20 miles each night, only getting 4 – 6 hours of sleep in between shifts (if I am lucky). I will have to push through those days, because my job supplies our insurance and helps pay the bills. So, today I will rest as much as possible. The laundry I didn’t get done yesterday, because I used too much of my energy on cooking and cleaning, will have to be done at some point, but it will be done slowly. It will be a light school day, and we will play a lot of games, while I sit.

At some point, I pray that I will be more functional, but for now, we will make the best of a bad situation. We take it one day at a time in this family, and some days it is one hour at a time. Today may even be a one minute at a time day.

Thank you for listening, I hope to see you soon. Love and peace friends.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons LicenseSerenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Five Years of a Blessed Commitment

♥ Today marks my FIVE year anniversary, being committed to Al-Anon. ♥

I walked into my first Al-Anon meeting on May 16, 2010 and instantly felt like I was home. I started attending meetings regularly and could feel myself healing from many of my emotional wounds. Then I got pregnant again, and our world slowed to a crawl due a very difficult pregnancy. I still read my literature and tried to practice the principals, but no longer attended meetings on a regular basis, if at all.

On January 3, 2012,  I went to what would become my home group meeting for the next few years. Instantly there was peace in the center of my mental storm. I committed to my program that day, because I wanted to be better for my girls. I wanted them to have a different life, and sense of self, than I had. I wanted to break the cycle of self-loathing and self-destruction. I went for them, but I stayed for me.

It’s been almost 7 years since my first meeting, and 5 years since I committed to this amazing program, and today I can say that I am a different person. I look at the “pre-Al-Anon” me, and cannot even believe that I still have friends from that time, I was so horrible. I thank God every day for the people who loved me enough to stay, even when I could not stand to be around myself. Today, I love myself and I am proud of the progress I have made. I am not perfect, nor would I ever wish to be, because God created me to be human with all my imperfections as tools to build a better me.

Daily I pray only for the willingness and strength to carry out His will, and not force mine. An example of His will versus mine is that yesterday I visited my grandmother, for the first time in over 10 years. I honestly had no intention of seeing her anytime soon, I had given thought to seeing her when I reached Step 9, but God had other plans.  I followed His message and did as He asked. It was a nice visit. We sat down like old friends, talked about current life and reminisced about the old days. Then when we were leaving, we hugged and agreed that we did not want to rehash the ugliness of the past, but start with a clean slate going forward. This visit brought me some peace, and gifted my father and grandmother with much happiness. I am not sure what the future will hold, but I know God has a plan, and my job is to follow the path He lays in front of me.

Thank you Al-Anon for helping me build a loving relationship with my Higher Power, whom I call God. Thank you God for loving me and blessing me with your grace.

ss-serenity-prayer

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons LicenseSerenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Mother’s Day 2016

Good morning, and Happy Mother’s Day.

Holidays and parties are HARD for our family. We need to prepare by doing a lot of resting prior, and then we must prepare for the inevitable meltdowns and struggles that will follow. Beth and Anne can usually “hold it together” while we are there, because they truly WANT to be there. The problem is that it is too much for their systems, especially Beth. The one thing our loved ones will never understand is the “happy meltdown.” The “happy meltdown” is the fallout as Beth’s system tries to process all the excitement and happy she experienced at the gathering.

After many PAINFUL holidays this past year, we are doing things differently. It is upsetting to people that want to see the girls at parties, but I cannot please everyone and my girls’ mental health cones first. So today, I will spend the morning with my amazing daughters, then this afternoon I will go visit with my family (mom, gram, aunt, etc…) to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our decision was not popular, but I must admit that once it was made, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.

Today is Mother’s Day, and EVERY Mother should celebrate in a way that puts a happy in HER heart. We should not celebrate in ways that only make others happy. We must put ourselves first sometimes, and today is the perfect day to do that.  Remember Different is just different; it is not better or worse, and you need not justify your choices to anyone. May your day be filled with laughter and love; may it also be meltdown free and relaxing.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons License
Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Stress and Praise

Hello friends, I hope you are all doing well. I know I have been missing-in-action for many months, but life has been a bit more chaotic then usual. I cannot seem to find the time to devote to blogging, and I suppose it is because so many other things in life are simply more of a priority at this time. I keep searching for the secret that will leave me some energy at the end of the night, so I can start writing again, but so far it has not materialized. We all know that Life is One Day At A Time, and I have faith that soon there will be a better balance in my life.

As I have been searching for that balance, one thing stands out to me… the repetitive pattern of problem and solution. The majority of my problems come from stress, which is a result of me trying to control everything. Most of my solutions come from prayer, which is putting my faith in my Higher Power, whom I call God. When I stress, and allow my worse-case-scenario imagination to run rampant, I end up exhausted and sick. When I praise God, and thank Him (and His angels) for being with me always, I am peaceful and strong. It really comes down to putting my pesky ego in it’s place, and accepting that through God all things are possible, if I am willing to get out of my own way and let Him work.  As we say in program: “I can’t. He can. I think I’ll let Him.”

 

Stress and Praise

 

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons License
Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Befriending Myself

I was recently talking to someone about who I am now, versus who I was prior to Al-Anon. The truth is, had I met myself back then, I would not have wanted to be my friend. After three years of being committed to my Al-Anon journey, and working the program the way it is meant to be worked, I actually like myself most days.

The problem is there are still a lot of days, when I don’t like myself. There are still far too many days when I cannot be a good friend to myself. How will I ever teach my girls to treat themselves with Respect and Kindness, if I cannot do it for myself? The sad answer is: I won’t. In order to break the cycle, and help them be good friends to themselves, I must start treating myself better, NOW.

My greatest dream for Beth and Anne is for them to LOVE themselves in every way. I pray for them to have self-worth; to be proud of all that they are and have confidence in all that they do. Basically, I pray for them to grow-up feeling the opposite of how I did.

As I work my program, I am slowly beginning to love myself, as completely and unconditionally as I love my children. One day, I will be proud of all that I am, because I will be the person God knows I can be. Some day, I will have confidence in all that I do, because my actions will be based in the serenity of recovery.

I am not perfect, but as long as I am making progress, I am healing. As long as I am healing, I have the opportunity to be the kind of mommy my girls deserve. Personally, I can think of no better friend to have, than the woman they already think I am.  So I am befriending myself, and giving us all a brighter future. ❤

Background image is property of Lindsey Schultz. It is used by Serenity Spectrum with her permission.  Text Reads:

Background image is property of Lindsey Schultz. It is used by Serenity Spectrum with her permission.
Text Reads: “I will spend more time with myself in this lifetime than anyone else. Let me learn to be the kind of person I would like to have as a friend.” ~ Anonymous

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons License
Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Sad, Not Mad

The girls learned (or more accurately relearned) a tough lesson today. They learned that Mommy follows through on her promises.

I have been very disturbed by the recent lack of respect, and diminishing kindness, with which they treat each other. The root of almost all of their issues are toys, books, dress-up clothes, etc.. The fact that my children cannot treat each other with respect and kindness because of material things, is extremely upsetting to me.

They have also started to speak to me with words and tones that are unacceptable. To be honest, they are often using the words or tone I previously used with them, and that is a BIG problem.  Often times my reaction is based on my expectations, not their actions. As we say in program: “Expectations are predetermined resentments.” Regardless of the situation, it is NEVER okay for me to talk to them without respect, and I know I have been remiss in this area; hence their new-found level of disrespect.

I sat them down the other day, and explained that yelling makes me sad. That I do NOT want to be a Mommy who has to yell, in order for them to listen, and behave with respect. I reminded them that we homeschool, so they are not bullied, but treated with kindness. I told them that since they are always fighting over objects, that any object they cannot share, will go in the garbage. I further explained that any object that seemed to be the root of any disrespect, or lack of kindness, would also go in the garbage. I reminded them that we must always use RESPECT and KINDNESS with our words, hands and actions.

Today, while down in the laundry room, I heard the screams and crying up here. I came up to find Anne sobbing and Beth very upset. I ordered them both to the table, where they had to put their heads down until they calmed down. Once they calmed down, I asked what happened, and why they were fighting instead of cleaning the room. The answer was basically that they were fighting over toys; Anne was teasing Beth, and she put her hands on Anne. They remained at the table (crying and screaming), while I “cleaned” their room.

I threw out almost a full garbage bag of items from the bins in their room. I chose things they no longer played with, things that were not working right, etc… I did not throw away any of their favorite items, but the point was made. After I went outside and put the bag in the dumpster, I came upstairs and cried with them. I now FULLY understand all those times my father told me he was sad (or disappointed) and not mad.

Although the rest of the day went very well, we rehashed the incident MANY times. Anne wanted me to promise not to throw out anymore dresses. Beth wanted to talk about the kids who don’t have food or toys. I explained to Anne that I could not promise her anything in regards to the dresses, because whether they stayed or went, was up to her and her sister. I explained to Beth that there are many children that can only dream of having what they have. I told her that countless children go to bed hungry and have no toys to play with. I told her that she and her sister need to start being more grateful for what they have, and acting the way God knows they can.

I felt horrible most of the day, in all honesty I still feel bad. THIS is not the mom I want to be either. I want to be a mom who inspires her children to act with respect and kindness, because they are following my example. I find that I am repeating patterns, which I had thought I was breaking. As I work my Fourth Step, I see deeper inside myself, and KNOW that I can do better (MUCH better).

Tomorrow is a new day, and although today was FAR from perfection, there was a bit of progress, and that is how the girls and I will continue to grow into the women God knows we can be.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons License
Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Al-Anon Family Visit

After almost three months of not being able to attend meetings, I was blessed to visit my Al-Anon family this evening. It was WONDERFUL to see them, and drink in their wisdom. Plus, nobody gives hugs like those lovely ladies. ❤

As usual the meeting was not only a great release for me, but I also walked away with much to ponder. One of the women talked about Kahlil Gibran’s words on children, so of course I had to look up the passage when I got home. It reads:

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may house their bodies, but not souls. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

She was right about it being a powerful, and humbling message.  I have read it several times since being home, and am filled with a new sense of purpose and hope. The one line that stands out the most is: “You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.” I find that almost everything I do, is to make Beth and Anne better than me. I want them to have a solid foundation, so they can make better choices than I did. I want them to know how special they are, so they do not suffer the low self-esteem, and lack of confidence, I have always (and sometimes still do) struggled with. I often wonder if in my efforts to make them better (or different), am I just repeating the well-meaning (but somewhat damaging) cycle?

Since we started homeschooling, the one message I receive repeatedly is to follow their lead. They are amazing little teachers, each with their own set of strengths. I think as we settle back into school, tonight’s meeting was just what I needed to start us off on the right foot. I realize now, that I must concentrate less on making them better than me; and more on simply helping them to be the best them they can be. Perhaps as I help them navigate their path, I may even become the person that God knows I can be. If at the end of my life, I can say that I was half the woman my girls are, than I will have lived a blessed life. ❤

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

Creative Commons License
Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.