Taking Responsibility ……

So I’ll bet you read the title and thought this would be a Ninth Step kind of post. Or maybe I did my searching and fearless inventory and am taking responsibility for some newly discovered dark thing about me.

No. No. Alas, no.

What I write about is this kind of responsibility one should not take. Taking responsibility for someone else’s shit.

Yes, I’m an alcoholic and addict. But don’t we all have someone in our lives who, too, is an alcoholic or addict? And don’t they do to us what we did to others?

What I’m getting at is when a loved one relapses. I go to that “I should have seen it coming” place. I scrutinize the events and interactions leading up to the other person’s relapse. I put the days after they started using under the microscope. Many “aha” moments are enlarged there. The sleepy, glossy eyes. The fingers in the mouth — this person ALWAYS puts their fingers in the mouth when they’re using. Like a baby who rebels against sleep just as much as he or she wants it.

Somehow the whole feeling “duped” thing is something I’m taking responsibility for. Why am I responsible for being duped? Why isn’t it HIS responsibility for lying? That’s right. It is his responsibility.

And I can’t make him take responsibility for that. I can’t make him stop using. I can’t make him admit to using — been there, done that.

I put myself under that microscope as well. I squint and enlarge and probe. Was I in denial? Or was I giving a heaping, happy, healthy , loving dose of “benefit of the doubt?” Here I am going back to that place…….. I should have seen it coming. Or maybe I did see it coming but didn’t.

So I’ve been doing all of these things. But I’m going to stop. Just for today. Just for today I’m going to sit and be with me and accept that things are the way they are and that I’m powerless. Of course, I’ll have to see what happens when a counter-intuitive train of thought comes clacking and rattling into the station at top speed. I often get into a positive, powerful “just for today frame of mind” and unwittingly hop on these trains when they arrive. I have the power to watch them thunder past me, papers and dust flying in their wakes. I don’t always execute that power.

Good night.

Today’s Pity Party and My Brother’s Ghost

In 2008 I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Some years later, I’m still having health issues that range from nerve pain and fatigue to arthritis and digestive issues. Today: I’m extremely bloated (having gone up almost 2 sizes), have a bitter metallic taste in my mouth (I’m self-conscious about halitosis and my precious cups of coffee taste horrid), have joint pain in my knees and hands, am insatiably tired and thirsty, and have an impenetrable brain fog. Today I broke down and cried. I’m just so tired of it.

I went outside and smoked a cigarette. The brain fog made a gratitude list difficult – as did my self-pitying mood. I just couldn’t think of anything. Just a blank. What I could think about is how I slept away an hour of time I felt I should have spent with my 8 year old boy. What I could think about is how my stomach is oozing over the waistline of borrowed pants because mine quite suddenly don’t fit. What I could think about was how I needed to go upstairs and what a tall order that would be. What I could think about was how my mom was watching my son and how I used the time to take an epsom salt bath in a vain attempt to feel this much –> <– better. Pitiful, right? And how do you think crying over it and pitying myself helped? If you guessed that it didn't and that it made things worse, you're absolutely correct. On the other hand, the tears seemed to take the edge off of my eye pain . Yeah, forgot to mention that symptom.

What I neglected to think about in this fog is that it's my brother's birthday. He would have been 28 today. I thought about it last night and this morning and earlier this afternoon – and it's also my sister's birthday. It's not just my loss. It's hers, too. And having a birthday must be a bittersweet thing since that fateful St. Patrick's Day in 2009 when my brother died at age 24 — and the subsequent June 27th when he would have been 25.

I realized tonight that with all of the challenges I have with my health, I do have something to be grateful for on an epic scale: my life. Not just that I am above ground and breathing, but also the home I have today. I don’t mean the house I reside in. I mean the HOME I have today, a home filled with love, a home I look forward to coming to at the end of the day, a home filled with laughter and support. And then there is my life itself. I’m above ground. I’m breathing. There’s still a chance that I’ll kick this thing – whatever it is. I also have to accept that it’s God’s will – for whatever reason. And I may never ever know the reason. Humility reminds me that I don’t need to know the reason, either. On days when I have less of this humility I tend to analyze what the reason could be and why me. Well? Why NOT me?

Yesterday I peed in a cup. No news yet as to what, if anything, they found. I have a doctor’s appointment next Friday. I have an appointment with a Rheumatologist in August. I have to remember that this will be revealed in God’s time, not mine.

My sister, the one whose birthday it is, is getting married in September. She just earned her doctorate. Her Jack N’ Jill is coming up. There’s a lot of things to celebrate, a lot of things to be proud of. And why did I have to succumb to stinkin’ thinkin’? Maybe H.A.L.T had something to do with it — I’m Hungry to be CURED, I’m Angry about my station in life, I’m Lonely because it’s hard for people to understand this and I’m Tired , Tired, TIRED. I’m back on track for now — thank God.

They say, “Poor me, poor me, poor [pour] me another.” I have tremendous respect for the detrimental fallout that sitting on the pity pot can bring. And that’s no way to live a life that I’ve been granted another chance at.

I’m not perfect. And that’s okay. I have to keep this in the day and not look back to 2007 when the symptoms started to really take shape and start counting the months and years. I have to keep this in the day and not look too far ahead to the many blurring months that I’ll continue to endure this until I’m fixed. And I might not be fixed.

Thank God I can move on and shift my focus to what’s important today: my sister’s birthday and my brother’s memory. I love you guys. xoxoxo