Sunday, November 3, 2013

Contact Me...

For my long-time followers who are not connected to me on FB and would like to follow my new blog, please email me at jtheisen8@gmail.com and I will provide you with an updated link to my new page.
Thank you again for following me here. I am ending on a very strong note and I appreciate ever time you read. Please let me know in the email that you need the link to my new site.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Moving On....

People have been encouraging me for a while about maybe writing a book or something. I would really love to do something like that some day. Probably in the middle of graduate school is not the best time. However, I did get some interesting advice from a friend who told me it might be in my better interest to start my own site and have more of a say over my content than in such an open forum. I have decided to heed this advice. As of today, I am taking down the content from this site and moving it over to a personal domain. I will provide more details once the site is ready to launch.

Thank you to all my faithful readers...more updates to come.

Monday, May 14, 2012

4th Step, Learning About Fears

Besides learning a whole lot of about some of the stances on AA, I did want to spend some time talking about things I really did learn so far from my 4th step. I think the most important part for me was looking closer into my fears. For most of my adult life, I have lived in crippling fear. About 90% of that had to do with my drinking and how out of control my life had become. Looking at the here and now, through totally sober eyes, I realize that I still live in quite a bit of fear. Some of what came out on my list wasn't at all surprising to me, while other things just came to mind that I hadn't really given much thought or attention to since I became sober.

At this juncture in my life, I think I fear my expectations the most. I have always held myself to a high standard of living. I have these wonderful role models in my life who devote their lives to helping others. They are highly intellectual people who have achieved higher education, fulfilling careers, families, etc. I look at the people around me and wonder why I got so far off the path. These are all the things I would have liked to achieve but I  spent that time of my life in darkness. Now that I am emerging from this darkness, I don't exactly know where to place my expectations. I can't tell you how excited I am to start down the path of grad school in a few months. I believe to that my career aspirations will be met. (I do love being a nurse, when I can be a nurse and not just a paper jocky.) I am on the path of meeting these expectations.

On a very different level, or maybe not, depending on how you want to look at it, I expect myself to always be walking the walk and talking the talk. If I plan to counsel others on getting sober with a particular plan in mind, I better be doing my own plan before I get in their faces about starting. I also expect myself to be competent right away which is pretty dangerous. No matter how much I think I know, there is still a lot to learn. I expect myself to continue to exercise my plans while working and going to school full time. I am expecting total abstinence from mood altering drugs. I expect big things now. I need to be careful though, because I can sabotage my own success by applying to much pressure on myself.

Another piece I was quite surprised at is when I jotted down "Happiness". I fear happiness. Hmmm....Maybe because I think I can only achieve happiness by the things I mentioned above which is scary to hope I can do all of it up to my own expectations (sigh...which is usually perfection). But more so, when I have lived a bulk of my life in paralyzing fear, anxiety and depression, happiness seems like a pipe dream. So, when it is sitting in front of my face, I don't exactly know what to do with it. This is a dangerous place for me also. I am the master of making stuff wrong when their isn't stuff wrong. Mountains out of mole hills, do they say? Yep, I can do that in a heartbeat. Even coming up on 2 years of sobriety, I am a little like a fish out of water when it comes to just being happy. Just being OK with the way the world is today. Enjoying my life and enjoying what I have around me. It's still a bit unfamiliar. I actually experience a little anxiety at times. I feel like I should be worrying about something or doing something....I get restless.

The last fear I would like to comment on would be my fear of making amends and completing the 4-8th steps. These are the steps that get really down and dirty into the soul of an addict. I have the chance to confront my demons, myself and others. A true opportunity to release some serious baggage. It's scary though. For one, I am actually scared to give up my resentments. I believe I spoke about these in a couple of previous blogs. They are comfortable and they can be instantly there when nothing else is wrong. Secondly, I really fear the reaction from other people. I suspect that most people will just be supportive, but I may be surprised at the reaction of some. I hate the person that I was doing the things I did to other people. I suspect that they sorta hated that person too. Even though I sit in front of them, stone-cold sober now, they may not believe my words or be at point of forgiveness. My head is starting to spin at the thought of confrontation like that. I sort of have an extreme need for everyone to approve of everything I do and like me no matter what. Talk about expectations out of whack, huh?

I am really fearful at this point of shutting down for a while. At least I am aware that I might be thinking about it. I am losing my grip with my Higher Power and exercising much more angry willfulness right now than I have in probably about a year. The conversations with my Higher Power are becoming more infrequent. I have no problem saying that once I let my Higher Power back in my life, I was saved from my alcohol obsession. It was the only thing that worked. Again, this is not everyone's experience, but it is certainly mine. Anger is a vicious monster for me. I latch onto it without regard. I let it consume me and dictate my relationships with people. I know I have mentioned before, it feels powerful and righteous. When I am feeling weak or out of control, anger is a motivation for me, right or wrong. I feel like I am walking on a fence right now. I need to stop walking the fence, make my choice about what I am going to do and follow through with it.

I have a whole lot left to learn on this journey. Despite the 4th step starting off on such a bad foot, I know I need to continue to push forward. I just hope I can start wandering back towards the light instead of the darkness that I feel like I am drifting back into. Be patient with me all, this is going to be quite the ride for awhile.

J

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Is There a "Right" Way to Do Things????

I just read another blog in which the author admits, that although he blogs regularly on the internet, he hates the internet because of the stupid remarks some people are capable of making. I had a comment on here earlier today which is now gone. I have blocked this particular person from my Twitter account and hopefully from this page as well. I am now reviewing comments before they go up on the site. Not that I mind a good discussion or two, but this gentleman happen to be implying that I have no concept of morality and I don't know what I am doing and I am doing everything incorrectly.

Interestingly, as some of you may have noted from yesterday's blog, I am in a discussion with self about the rightness and wrongness of recovery. Is there a right way to do this?No it differs for everyone. I have always been a big believer in meetings. I volunteer at a local chemical dependency center for women and tell them to go to meetings. This is an important part of recovery in my opinion. But, will I blast you on the internet or in person for that matter if you choose not to? No, it's your recovery. Not mine. I know what I need to do to stay sober. My realization of what I needed took almost a year to find. It's a trial and error process.If people ask how I got sober, I am happy to tell them. I will not and would never expect that someone else will need and do exactly as I did.

Recently, I have been running into AA Fundamentalists for a total lack of a better word. They have achieved sobriety one way and because they did, there is only 1 way for it to be done. God, no wonder people get scared off at meetings. The Big Book asked me the question, "Am I willing to do anything to get sober?". Most of the time I thought I was saying yes, while my active addict brain was telling me otherwise. So, when it was time to say a yes to that question and stick with it, I defined my plan. My plan was to do DBT for 15 months, enroll in monitoring program for 3 years, get a sponsor, go to meetings and work through the steps, attend regular therapy and take my medications.

So, in the eyes of the AA Fundamentalists I have been meeting in the last 2 months, this is a horrible plan. 1. I am not moving fast enough - this should all be done in three weeks. 2. I am heading towards relapse because I don't know how to define morality. 3. The guide I printed off of the internet was wrong wrong wrong, I lack morals (this is what the deleted posted was implying). 4. DBT is in conflict with AA if I am trying to take control of actions and emotions, this is my Higher Power's domain only. On and on and on. I can't understand why I am not finding support for this plan from anyone but my therapist as of recently.

 We have a book that we read and define our plan of recovery. I have interpreted the reading of this book to be a guideline to recovery. Here are steps we can take to heal ourselves of the obsession of alcoholism. The steps are taken at different times for different people. These are generally good steps for people without addiction to live by. Appreciate today, live for today, say your sorry when you have harmed someone, help your neighbor in need, share the joy of your relationship with the world with others. Apparently, my interpretation of reading is far different than others. I had worked with another sponsor for a short time. She started by having me read the entire Big Book out loud to her. I didn't see anything in the Big Book about this. Does that mean she was steering me wrong? No, it's something her sponsor did with her and she was passing along her knowledge. It didn't really speak to me, but I was willing to try anything to get sober. I certainly enjoyed the spontaneous discussions we would have after reading a section or two.

I do not understand the harshness of those who feel like they have the 1 and only answer to recovery. This has been my experience with religion which is why it might be sparking such a sensitive nerve. I believe most religions are trying to be a good place, following the scriptures to lead a healthy life of serve to others. Love they neighbor as thyself. Good message. I think it's important. It's when people start to interpret things in certain way to obstruct someone's ability to achieve a goal of the Good Message. AA is starting to do this to me right now and I am quite saddened by it. I don't want to be driven away by a few narrow-minded people. I am trying to remember that when I first started with AA, it was about support. It was talking about our addiction and our experiences. It was about reaching out to others. I think it can be this once again.

My experience now has been, you don't know how to read, you don't know how to define your morality, you don't move quickly enough, you are losing your way, you are going to fail. What the hell kind of supportive message is this?!?! It reminds me of all my years in Catholic school, "Just remember kids, if you lie, you are going to straight to hell. Have a nice afternoon". I am still a little scorned by being in this environment for many many years. By high school, I just gave up and told myself, well I am going to hell anyway, I should take the opportunity to enjoy the ride. Exit God. Exit control. Welcome addiction.

I just don't feel like I should be in a place to have to defend my recovery. I am done being insulted about my experiences. This blog is just about my experience and my honest opinion of it. If your experience was different and wonderful, GREAT! I am not going to argue that it wasn't. Maybe this is what should be expected when blogging. I have been doing this for about 4 months now. The feedback both on here and in my private messages have been much more civil than the past 1 month or so.

So, my conclusions today: Am I willing to do anything to be sober? Yes. Are you doing it? Yes. Will this plan work for everyone? No. Am I ok with that? Absolutely. Should everyone else be ok with that? Yes. Is AA the only way? No. Will I continue to go? Yes. Do I regret my experiences so far? No.

Just as the tattoo on my right arm says "ONLY GOD WILL" ....judge me, help me, hold me.

Peace out,
J

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Infamous 4th Step

I can say with some true honesty that I have been avoiding this step for quite a while. I decided to focus on steps 1-3 for the first year of sobriety. Logically, this would dictate that I move on to step 4-6th after this, right? Well, like most things in recovery, the choice is up to me.

After having such a strong interaction with others about moving on to the 4th step, my sponsor included, I decided to embark down this path. Let me preface all of this by saying that I printed a guide book off of the internet. I don't know how other folks go about it, but I need some direction or else I will sit there staring at the paper for hours on end. So, my experience is based on the directions I received from this packet. Others may have totally different ways about approaching the 4th step, so please keep in mind, this is only my experience. Yours may have been very different or will be very different. With that said.....

So I printed off of my guide. The first step was to identify by character flaws. Interesting, this guide told me to focus only the sober me, not the behaviors and character flaws I engaged in while drinking. Not to say that I am by any means perfect, but I really only came up with 10 true character flaws. Things like gossiping (I so need to work on this one, drive me nuts), holding resentments and anger for longer than needed, etc. etc. Then I was to come up with 2 attributes for every character flaw. Yes, this was difficult as it is in any situation in which someone says, "Say something nice about yourself". But I did give myself credit where credit is due. I have increased my honest with myself and the world at large. I have opened myself up to help others. I genuinely care and have concern for others, etc. etc.

So, on to the next part. This was the area that I was more concerned about. Talking about resentments that I still hold. I won't go into specifics here, but really this is between me,God and I guess another person per the 5th step. What I feared the most is that I wasn't going to be able to stop once I started. I had some obvious and glaring ones that were quite easy to put down. I don't know if I lost a lot of my resentments over the past 2 years or if I just started to forgive, but I really didn't have any many as I would have thought. I wanted to talk with my therapist about a few that came up because these are old ones and I struggle to figure out how to let them go. This is where the process go sort of interesting.

I read her my partial list. She looked at me and said "Are these really resentments?" For once in therapy, I was a little lost for words. I said that these were the things that came to mind when someone asks me about my resentments. She retorted with, the standard definition of resentments is "taking the poison and waiting for the other person to die." True, I agree. "So, a true resentment is affecting your life on a daily basis and causing poison to run through you because of it." OK? "The things you are tell me are hurts in your life, but are they affecting you on a daily basis and affecting the quality of your recovery or life in general?" So, besides 1, the rest really were more hurts. I have come to accept them as being part of my life and life in general. No, they really don't affect me on a daily basis. I experience annoyance around some of the situations but they pass as soon as the annoyance arrived.

The guide for this particular step indicated that I could be resentful about a myriad of things: the state of politics, the establishment of government, the healthcare system, my neighbors, my cats, I don't know, all sorts of things. During my first year of recovery, I was ANGRY. I was pissed off at being sober. I was pissed off at a fly on a wall, I was pissed off at my job, my life, my car, my carpet, my hair and the fact that I can't fill the cat bowl without spilling something. Would that have been a good time to do the 4th step? Probably not. Although, in some strict AA dogma, people really need to bust through this step in early recovery. Now a couple of years later, I have worked through a lot of what I would have perceived back then as resentments as really a reflection of a huge life change. (Read: I HATE CHANGE blog if you need to know my hatred of change). So enter DBT. These were the skills I needed to take control over my mind and change the anger into acceptance so I wouldn't be affected on a daily basis. My mind like to grab onto something when I wanted to be angry. I could blow it all out of proportion. Although I believed this not to be true, the anger was like a bully and suppressed any other reasonable thoughts from entering the picture.

So, there were two more parts to my guide. 1. Stating fears and 2. Reconciling sexual behavior. Stating my fears happened to be the most therapeutic part for me in this whole guide. Becoming more self-aware of fears that I carry is helpful to me. I can start to address those fears with the skills of DBT and logical mind. I can start to conquer fears. #2. I didn't even touch and I will get to that in a second.

After my conversation with my therapist, it would appear that I actually have 2 attack plans in my recovery that are actually, at times, in conflict with each other. Through AA, I am to relinquish the control of my life and hand it over to my Higher Power. I am to seek a spiritual connection to guide me through my life. Then, I am to search and be honest with all of my character defects, admit them to another person, ask my Higher Power to relieve me of these defects, make amends to those I hurt and help others with this process. Through DBT, I am to take control of my mind, actively change my behavior through changing destructive thought patterns. Through acceptance and mindfulness, learn to take the world as it is and deal with pains and triumphs through clear thinking. Definitely some overlap, definitely some issues of control to be talked about.

I believed the first 3 steps of AA saved my life. I needed and desired to connect with my Higher Power. I needed to have the strength and support that only that relationship can provide. I am conflicted about the 4-8th steps of this process. I believe it is important to look at oneself, but the problems I have more of issue with reconciling is the behaviors while I was drinking, not so much now. I am living more within my value system than I ever had in my life. I think the one person I resented the most, namely me, is slowly losing her place as #1. It is the self-hatred that was totally destructive to me. So, I am not quite finding the value in talking about myself in terms of "defects" implying that I am lower than others. I agree with talking with my Higher Power about character traits I would like to change. If I am committed to change I will use my DBT to do it. I believe that was the gift from my Higher Power.

I have no problems making amends to those I love. I haven't done it yet, but I will. But, again, I am a bit conflicted here. The people who stuck with me through the end stages of my use and stuck through my anger-ridden 1st year of being sober are the ones I would like to make amends to. The few people I have spoken to in this regard often say I don't need to say anything, living a better and more successful live is good enough. I agree - my actions and decisions at this point in my life say more than a card will ever. However, again, I do feel like it is important to acknowledge these folks for all the belief and patience they showed to me. As far as making amends to others from the deep past. I am just not sure crossing paths with these folks again would do either of us any good. Opening up old wounds, for what I perceive to be a selfish motive. I need to do this to complete my 8th step. Even though it says not to do it if I will harm others, how do I know? How would I know?

The last of steps, I agree with. As alcoholics, we have a unique experience that can be of true help to others. I think it is important is all aspects of our lives to help others. So, in this arena we are cool.

I guess ultimately, I am a little disappointed in my experience thus far. I believe the conflict that I feel with 2 different ways of recovery are starting to show up now. One being to take control of my mind, thoughts and life and the other being to own no control and let my Higher Power drive. I haven't addressed the sex piece really to this point but I feel like this blog has become long enough. So I will try to talk about that in my next blog.

The most important message I got from a fellow AAer once: Go to a meeting, take what you need and leave the rest. Based on my discussion here today, I need to take a little closer look at this.

Peace out
J


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Prevention?

Although I am at work right now, I had this really strange dream this afternoon right before I got up. I don't want to forget what I dreamt about because it brought up some interesting thoughts and questions about my journey through addiction.

So THE DREAM: It was some type of reunion - maybe 15 year  - for my college - College of Wooster. Instead of having the reunion in Ohio, it was in St. Cloud, MN. I grew up there and the bulk of the dream happened in my old house and the elementary school that I grew up in. So, I was looking around and saw the group of girls that I hung out with a lot with in those years. I was estranged from them in my dream and they really didn't want anything to do with me. So, I went to sit on the other side where I recognized a lot of faces of people but kept thinking "without my facebook in front of me, I can't remember many of their names". There were people I thought were pretty interesting to catch up with for the most part.

Then, the reunion party was over and I ended up having 2 people come home with me because they didn't have a place to stay. One of them is actually our current class secretary. We woke up in the morning and she says to me, "you know, I don't like your father from what I hear about him." In my mind I thought "How dare you, I loved my father. He is dead now. You didn't know him at all." So I asked her what she meant and she said something to the effect of being too strict and not having a lot of communication. Then my mom comes out and starts yelling at me in front of my guests about costing her money and not being notified that I was bring people home. I blew up at her and called her a bitch. I would never ever ever ever ever do that in real life, I respect my mom way too much for that. After that altercation, I went back to the fellow Wooster alum and said, "well, I was brought us to been seen and not heard. We did have some communication about things, it was just awkward. Our house was pretty strict but it made my sister and I better people for it.". Then she turned to me and said "then why are you an addict, something must have been wrong."

So I woke up at this point. I was thinking about what my parents could have done differently in regards to my addiction. I really came to the conclusion - not much. My mom warned me from my early teens on that alcoholism ran in our family and not very many people I am related to have a good relationship with it. I really didn't care. I really wanted to try it. I really wanted to see what it was all about. I don't think there was anything that anyone could have done to get me out of the mindset. All the warnings in the world weren't going to sway me because I am invincible and none of that is going to happen to me.

My upbringing was not overly strict. I feared getting in trouble. Not so much that there was anything really to be afraid of, I just didn't want to disappoint anyone. That was the worst punishment of all. Seeing my mom or dad sad because of something I did. So, nope, nothing abusive or overly strict or out of world as far as parenting is concerned. Sadly in the future, I did disappoint a lot of people by my behavior and actions. I felt the same sort of shame I did back then. Thinking of my dad looking down on me and saying “Oh, Julie, what happened? You are better than this…..”, that thought still haunts me now.

I get tired of people blaming everything on their parents and their upbringing. YES, there are situations that happen that are horrible and people have the right to be resentful. But, it seems to me, these are the people who gain the strength and will from their upbringing and make a difference in this world. The people I get annoyed with are kids who have everything. Every opportunity to go to school, play whatever sports they want, have their own cell phones and laptops. They get a car when they turn 16. It's never enough, there is always something better. So, they turn out to be an addict like me. Alcohol, weed, ecstasy, PCP, cocaine whatever. I was one of those kids who have everything too. Scholarships, sports, education at private schools for 15 years. I can't, for even 1 second, think about blaming my parents for my addiction (not enough love, structure, gifts, blah blah blah). The only thing I really could blame them for where the genes. But, you know what folks? I made a decision to engage in that behavior knowing what the consequences might be. They told me what could happen and I didn't listen. Mom and Dad - as far as you guys are concerned, you are off the hook on this one.

As I am nearing my start date for graduate school, I started looking around at what jobs were available out of curiosity. I saw so much about prevention and education and my first thought is, what good is that gonna do? I just laughed when people tried to talk with me about drugs and alcohol. I was always inherently terrified of drugs, never really engaged much in that. Alcohol, maybe because it was legal, didn't scare me as much? That was a personal choice and reaction. It really didn't have anything to do with substance abuse education. I am now kinda fascinated by this idea. What could someone have done to help me make the right decision when I was already hell bent on trying alcohol at age 14? Is there something someone could have said or done for me? Does this type of knowledge actually help prevent underage drinking? What helps?

I guess this begs the following questions to me - did I have to go down this road to learn this lesson? Was there any intervention that would have stopped me? Was I this hard-headed by the grace of God to help others down the road? What would I tell my own children, knowing what I know? What if I am presenting in front of a group of adolescents about drug and alcohol prevention, would I believe that I am making any kind of difference? Can I actually believe that prevention is possible? Lots of questions without a lot of answers at this point. I hope to hear and learn some interesting things when I start school. I will have to revisit this blog at some point and see if I can answer some of the questions I have posed here today.

So, anyway, thank God my boss isn't on my facebook site. Saturday nights are pretty boring, so taking my 30 minute break at the beginning of my shift seems OK.

Thanks for reading!
Julie

Monday, April 30, 2012

Obsessed

I have been watching a marathon of "Obsessed" on Netflix during this week off. I watched it when it first came out and saw lots of things that I do or did, just not really at the level of destroying my life. The one thing I didn't equate until watching this more recently is that addiction could really be classified as OCD. It is a compulsion, driven by irrational fears and impedes a person from truly enjoying life. Not to mention all the rituals that get built around the addiction as well.

Drinking felt like an unwanted compulsion. The way the people who were suffering from OCD explained their despair with their anxiety brought up feelings that I had very much experienced in the height of my use. Why do I keep doing this? Why can't I stop? I don't want to do this anymore, but I keep doing it? I am choosing this over my life and family??? Why am I so scared all the time? If I do this one thing, it will help settle me down....

The treatment used to treat OCD in this series was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy. Basically a therapist would expose these people to their worst fears and let them experience the anxiety. Eventually the anxiety would come down on its own through a series of skills taught in therapy. Once the person could realize that they didn't need to engage in their compulsions to calm themselves, the desire went away after awhile. The need for rituals subsided.

To treat my addiction, I did Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and AA. I wanted to write this one out for a bit and see if I think that AA is similar to exposure therapy. In a way, I am pretty sure that my answer is going to be yes, but we'll see. So DBT is not too dissimilar to CBT.  CBT works with an individual to confront fears and also to change thinking patterns in the situation of irrational thinking. At least, this is my low-level understanding. I actually went through 2 years of CBT while I was drinking after my divorce. I was never sure what the hell we were actually doing. I wasn't being honest, so nothing was really going to work at that juncture. Anyway, DBT is about being present in the moment and taking control of the brain. With both types of therapy, it is agreed that we cannot control our thoughts. Thoughts happen. They do not define us as a human being. However, with OCD, people become obsessed with certain thoughts and can't let go of them, no matter how far fetched the logic seems. CBT is going to confront the logic. DBT is going to acknowledge and release the thought. Both very important in both problem areas here.

So, with addiction, I found DBT and CBT to both be helpful. Taking control  back of the mind and changing the thinking patterns are so important in recovery. The addict brain, like the OCD brain, will just run rampant as long as the person lets it. In the midst of OCD and addiction, it doesn't ever really seem possible that this behavior might end. There was no control, what is going to change now? Well, if the addict and the sufferer of OCD engage in the therapy process, everything can change and control is possible. It takes a lot of really hard and painful work to achieve. I struggled to challenge my own thoughts. I wanted to know why I had the thought. What was the purpose of the thought. The thought must be there for a reason....etc...etc. At times, I felt crazy telling myself "NO, that is not true, you know it, let's move on..." I thought I was now suffering from multiple personality disorder. Constantly fighting with myself to see reality and the world as it actually is.

As far as the exposure therapy, I think the 12 steps are like the addicts therapy on this front. In front of God and another person, I have to admit everything that I did wrong, all the people I hurt, all the behaviors I engaged in while I was a screaming addict. I knew how the OCD folks felt when they were trying to confront their fears. I start to get in a circular thought pattern. I am pretty sure that I am the worst person in the world. My world will fall apart if someone knows everything I ever did or how dishonest I was. I have turned away from this 4th and 5th step many times. I am scared to find out the truth about me. I fear reliving all the horrible things I have done to people I have loved. I fear that I will run right back to the bottle to cope with the feelings of this step. Unfortunately, I have become stuck where I am right now because of these fears. I know better than this and my logical mind occasionally creeps in to remind me that I am not the worse human being on the face of the earth. But let me tell you, avoidance is a much easier choice.

It is amazing to me, however, how quickly (in the grand scheme of things) it took to be relieved of my compulsion to drink. I didn't ever think it was going to go away. I just couldn't even imagine a life, a quality life even, without alcohol. I still want a drink from time to time, but it's nothing as compelling as it used to be. The ritual part is still a little tough for me. I was clearing out a bunch of boxes that have been sitting in my apartment since I moved in. There was a box of glasses that had been stored away. These where the glasses that I used to drink out of. I had a set of particular glasses because I could mix things just right and I could manage to use only 1 2 liter bottle of pop each evening. I was automatically trigger by just seeing them. Of course, they were immediately packed up and shipped off to Goodwill yesterday. Just the memories are powerful and the mere presence of the ritual was astonishing.

So, anyway, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I was a little teary-eyed at a few of the episodes of "Obsessed". Seeing people get their lives back after a long downward spiral is always inspiring regardless of what disease process is going on. I will keep everyone posted on my progress with the 4th and 5th step. I have started several times. I can take some inspiration from my marathon of "Obsessed" and get moving. Once it is done, I know I will feel better and accomplished.

I thank you all again and again for the readership. It tickles me pink....

J