Monday, October 3, 2011

Calling on the Serenity Prayer for Help

Horrible time with my husband last evening. I understand that he is feeling abandoned by me as I work so many hours on the book. It comes out as resentment and blame. It involves not only the book but also my family coming here next week, my attention already focused on them and what I can do to make it a good time for them. As the resentment bubble builds, it gets directed at me as anger and blame.

Let me be clear. I am not an angel. I am not blameless. I do enjoy (most of the time) working on the book. I do get engrossed in it to the point of ignoring him. I do emotionally distance him, put him on the back burner, when my attentions are directed toward my family. Maybe I do put them first. Maybe I do care more about doing what I can to make them happy than I do about making my husband happy, at least when they are here. Maybe that is harder on him than I realize or admit.

Calling on the serenity prayer for help: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
  1. I can not change that I signed a contract and made a commitment to honor book deadlines.
  2. I can not change my husband's emotions or fix his black hole.
  3. I can not reverse the plans for my family to come here.
  4. I can not make my husband be helpful and supportive toward me in the way I need or want.
the courage to change the things I can,
  1. I can open my heart toward my husband's underlying abandonment issues with compassion and understanding.
  2. I can change my expectations of both myself and him and not expect myself to meet all of his needs or him to meet mine.
  3. I can work on my own anger, blame and resentments.
  4. I can honor and protect the fearful spirit within me, nurturing myself with understanding and compassion.
  5. I change how much I expect myself to solve (control) these issues, and turn it all over, instead, to my higher power.
and the wisdom to know the difference.
  1. Yes, the wisdom to know the difference. That's a tricky one. Obviously from the above, I think I know the difference. But do I? I am filled with doubts at the moment.
I am also filled with gratitude... gratitude for OA, the people in my OA group (the group "conscious" as one member calls it), for Julie, Loretta, PJ, Anne H, Sweetpea, Coral-Seas, DB, Robbie, Dees, Karen, Carol, Lois, and Peggy - who read these ramblings and give their time to write supportive and caring comments - and for my walking partner. Without them, I am well aware that I'd be binging like crazy, gaining several pounds a week, dealing with these hardships by driving to town a couple of times a day to buy cake, cookies, ice cream and the like, hiding in my car and eating without pleasure, the binge voices ever hollering at me for more. What a blessing to be writing around the serenity prayer instead! Now there's a gratitude thing!
Been in a slump for a while. Have doubts about my ability to do justice to the book I'm currently writing. Wanting it to be really good and really comprehensive, but not quite knowing how to pull it all together. Sometimes it's overwhelming. Sometimes I get bored with it, especially with working on the images, the step-out pictures, in Photoshop. To say it's tedious work is a terrible understatement. My photographic skills and my equipment aren't really up to the job, so I have to spend hours (no exaggeration) working on each photo in Photoshop and still they're not as good as I'd like. Sounds like a gripe. Is a gripe!

Had an accident with my motorcycle a week ago. Damaged my spirits as well as my bike and my foot. Lucky I'm not in a cast though. Spirit damage just adds to the book anxiety.

Then there's my family... three brothers and their wives, sister, 2 nieces, 2 nephews and possibly 1 grandnephew... arriving here next week to scatter Mom's and Dad's ashes. We're not the closest family in many ways, emotionally as well as geographically. I'm nervous about how it will go. My house is a mess... haven't really cleaned, except for the quickest necessities, since I started the book on July 1st. Have never hired a house cleaner, but do have somebody coming on Friday. Expensive, but a blessing, I think. Food, transportation, sleep... all issues. Think I was crazy when I suggested we do it here. Akkkk. Didn't know then that I'd be in the middle of book deadlines now. I guess the cup-half-full news is: I'll get a 1-week break from working on the book. The cup-half-empty news is: I'll have one less week to get everything done for the next deadline.

Obviously, there are some food challenges ahead. I've decided to write a few sentences when I find myself in the kitchen, opening cupboard doors and looking in the refrigerator. OK, so I can eat. But before I do, I will write a couple of sentences in a little kitchen notebook. Maybe I'll choose not to eat after I write. We'll see. It's an experiment.

As I well know, one tool to help me to not overeat and to feel better is gratitude. The earlier paragraphs sound like the cup is more than half empty. So here's my list for today... 10 Things
I'm Grateful For:
  1. kindness, people who are kind to me, especially my women friends
  2. the two people who fought McDonald's in the libel suit and the great documentary movie made about it (McLibel)
  3. everyone in my OA group
  4. women who make spirit-based art, quilts, etc.
  5. our garden
  6. our firewood supply and my husband for doing the work
  7. Julie, Jennifer and Karen (my sisters-in-law)
  8. Janet and her contribution toward sun bear rescue efforts
  9. Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker
  10. Captain Jack
  11. One year+ of abstinence from my binge foods... a huge blessing!
Do I feel better? Perhaps, a little. Time to get some sleep. Good night, world.