Fear of intimacy, fear of more grief. I realise as I have been helping a number of friends and also family, grief has us in its thrall as it need be when we experience loss.
As others express to me their aloneness from losing a loved one, I realise my fear is more to do with falling in love again and then the possibility of loss all over again. I donít know that we humans bounce back so well after too many heartbreaking times. As I have been alone and have not been in a relationship for a long time now, my desires are somewhat influenced by the outcomes of intimacy. Loss and my reaction to another one is an issue..
And as another might get close to me, I have my fears for them too, that I am vulnerable and have health issues, and my suitability as a long term prospect is something which concerns me. I would not want another to suffer as my ending is closer these days. This not arrogance it is genuine concern for how another might experience loss. I donít presume to be loved more or less than anyone, I just know my cards are marked more plainly these days.
Me and my health. Well after getting into recovery from the horrible addiction to alcohol, a recovering alcoholic I am. And in sobriety, after much effort and understanding the final acceptance of clinical depression and similar related conditions helped me understand my life long misunderstandings about why I felt different to ordinary people. I have strived for ordinary all my life and felt there was something quite alien about me. At odds with where others felt happy I careered full tilt like an obsessed individual always wanting to find this elusive peace of mind others naturally had.
A couple of years down the recovery path and physical health seemed less an issue until I had onset of type 1 diabetes. Injections and all the paraphernalia required for diabetic conditions available in no time flat. Why did I get the onset of type 1, the worst kind? This is a grey area and I have been advised it was most likely a shock to the system caused by a minor operation. A wisdom tooth extraction of all things, then infection, then a virus. I am also sure the shock of giving up drink after 35 years had a major impact. We alcoholics are ready to blame ourselves for everything as we get into recovery. That actually is a defect of character, we need only own our own part in all matters!
And of course with diabetes I have nerve damage occurring. A painful neuropathy in my extremities. My feet [ my "dogs" do bark a lot] hurt from the nerve endings up. So walking has been made difficult, cycling however is a necessity to get anywhere presently. And this has been my mode of transport as much as possible.
I like to ride my bike..
I do actually and its not easy, but it makes me make an effort and to keep fit too. So I am with the government health programme! I hope for a while to come.
No big deals and all pretty normal. As the health of me is precarious and also with a severe back pain it laid me a bit low.
My meeting last night helped me see this feeling of singularity in me. I am a single and recovering alcoholic. I have experienced as much love can be given without reservation to another human by a human. I have met some truly wonderful women in my life. And still do. The difference these days? Its not if I am good enough per se, its my changing health situation which makes me feel a relationship is not really top of my agenda.
Intimacy, that place where two hearts beat close, where silence is just as it may be, where warmth of another soars our hearts and love is at one with love. Those moments are far away just now and maybe forever.
18th October 2006 [all about last year]
[from XXXX] Hi Don,
I don't read your posts and hear you banging on about anything. I really respect what you write and understand the significance of what you are putting across.
Forgiveness and acceptance are a daily thing? I can forgive others, but forgiving myself? I don't know sometimes if I can ever forgive me the pain I caused my boys. Maybe I need to listen to more experiences. I don't know, and I guess this is where time, and a day at a time come in.
A lot of what you have written is relevant to how I'm feeling at the moment. Removing our fears and getting on with living. And then when I think I feel strong, facing life full on and realising I've actually got a long way to go.
I don't know if spending a whole day in is going to be repeated. I feel really tired and quite emotionally drained. I think the CBT stuff is making me think more than usual. And maybe I am trying to find hidden meanings and over analysing. The strange thing is I think I know in my heart where I am heading with all this.
It's sad to hear that some of your mates are feeling the way they are. One of my recovery friends is on a downward spiral again. And I guess thatís where I was 15 months ago, so I just pray that maybe with time and understanding things will come out right for her.
It sounds like your hard work and determination are paying off. The pain seems more bearable? No mention of the 'dogs' for a while. So a good message really. For me certainly!
Thanks Don, XXXX xx
[from me Don ]Thanks XXXX,
Thanks for your kindness, and as a grateful person, you do make a difference to how I feel about things I do. Life is not easy and tonight made me very aware, as if I needed reminders, just how frustrating things can be. And its always good to hear positive feedback, and worse when we are not really geared up to hear it too well. I have been annoyed by someone I know who I felt knew me better. And in many ways its as hard to forgive that as it is for me to forgive myself for being involved in the first place. We do learn and we do need forgive ourselves for being gullible and open and willing to help, when we need to be helping ourselves and recovery of a life worth living. I put these times down to experience, and its got to be one of those days today. The world is full of good and bad, and thatís just how it is. Blinking bloody marvellous is it not? Grrr! And let goÖ
Thanks XXXX a sane reflection from you, and Iím working on mine!
Wrong Place Wrong Time - Right Place Right Time
Yes this happens, I was off to a meeting tonight and in all honesty I donít think I got quite to the destination I would have preferred. Although the journey has been really illuminating.
For all the right reasons and smiles here I headed off to the usual destination, and it seemed to be closed and shut down. I may have been early, and at the same moment I thought, it might be the only night this year when it is closed. So from Kensington to Chelsea on the bike.
And its been a day on the bike, well getting about on it as it does not aggravate the neuropathy in the feet, thanks XXXX, after having left this one off my agenda for sharing here, it is simply I am managing better by not walking and using the bike. Although the other part of this is eyesight and my eyes are affected by my condition. itís a risk I know, but seems manageable today, and has been. So the "dogs" (feet) are not barking as much (hurting) except when I walk to Sainsburyís for shopping!
A weird day, full of good for me and full of reflections on where I am today. I watched Prime Suspect I had borrowed to watch today and the Chief Super is now an alcoholic, the portrayal so far has been excellent and close to home in the story, all of us in the AA programme will be familiar. It is upsetting but good to see a more accurate understanding of the programme, and what we do. The humour and fun of AA is always missing to the early days of recovery, so it was quite right making the hard truth about how it feels to get with the recovery we need. Good and bad, better its shown even if its in a TV drama play on telly.
So to Chelsea and another venue
Got there early and bumped into a nice bloke newcomer, who had coffee with me. We had a good chat and then to the meeting. A few things felt wrong, I donít know why its so, but sometimes when the share is done, from the speaker, and then other sharing starts, its hard to connect and I found it so tonight.
A friend or two
Yes a friend or two indeed have been bothering me. With their outlook and stuff, and most of all using my experience and expertise to further their living one way or another. And it comes home to roost sometimes that people can be so preoccupied they donít really know what they are doing. Or do they and donít care?
A few careless words, made me feel careless with my sharing I felt false as the words came out of my mouth. They were true but false and I realised I was speaking to a room of people who for one reason or another were not listening. Already some had left and the general atmosphere was unfocussed and unreal to me. I felt off colour and off the message I need.
Sometimes we are Insensitive - I went Home
And tonight maybe I was too sensitive. But sometimes the whole thing can feel pretty crap, and this night was one. So I left. Not because of others, but because there was something in me not connecting and I could not connect.
I do feel let down to an extent, I have never asked anything of anyone in AA actually, and have found the programme was quite enough to sustain me. Friendships have come and I feel they are ok, and yet some who would be friends, well I am learning again that some who feel they are friends are surely using my capacities and donít give a flying whatnot for me. And this is life. Mind as I write my temper is calm and my observations what they are.
We all get them, especially our types, who give so freely and donít ask for anything in return. Odd but true. Pleasing people is no good in the end, and helping to my own detriment needs some attention. Freeloaders will know themselves, friends will know what I mean. So it goes.
One Bad Meeting
Yes one bad meeting I feel the tensions, and now they are gone, still it does make one think how easy it is to turn around and have that moment where the world seems like crap and head for the pub.
I went through my gratitude list
I am sober today, I can bike to a meeting when I cannot walk to it. And not get too disturbed by neuropathy. I have type 1 diabetes and manage it, as best I can, and the clinical depression cycle is not so bad at the moment, a level playing field. I write on my website and encourage insights into living, and also to consider what goes on in this world. And I have helped some people into recovery. I do what I do as best I can.
So doing the next right thing tonight
Yes doing the next right thing tonight is to accept a crap outcome on some things, and wisdom to realise what they are. And at the same time recognise I am still alive, when I would have been long gone if I had not found recovery. That there are days where there is joy and happiness, that they do come round, and it makes up for those desolate times when nothing works at all. That I am powerless over people places and things, except maybe doing the next right thing. Which is to know I am not in charge, will not ever persuade some to a point of view and some will just give me a feeling of emptiness. Thatís recovery and life. And some insensitive types will never understand what they do and why. Including me sometimes, and many times in the past.
Yes forgiving and acceptance are truly keys to living today. I need forgive me and my mood. Forgive how it is right now. And be happy I see the differences, wisdom comes at a price. So when people do make us feel a bit off and undervalued, its ok, and we need not feel its really about us, that is their outlook and stuff. When I look at what I achieve given my circumstances, it is as good as it can be, and I do the next right thing.
Acceptance is, that the world is as it is. That some days will be full of light and some days the dark of others will crap on my parade. And some days we encounter people we might never wish to have met, and that their manipulative and underhand ways are just theirs and not mine. Let them go where they will.
Smiles with a shrug. And I do accept how things are, some rose beds do have manure and a rather bad smell. I guess I am no rose to some, and that just how it is. The next best thing is for me to leave things as they are and not concern myself further.
My version of a meditation:
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in our world by mistake. Until I could accept my humanity, I could not be complete in living; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
Having had a few hours of sleep overnight, I have come back down to earth. I find I have acceptance this morning and my world feels the better for it.
When life deals us things we donít quite enjoy, or cannot really like, its just a little reminder we donít have the will to will it. That we are all merely players as Shakespeare wrote and we are not the centre of the Universe. So what, I find myself right sized again, if peeved by others, its just the way it was last night and now I learn again to be grateful I am able to keep it real, just a day at a timeÖ