In the new year, I will live one day at a time. I will make each day one
of preparation for better things ahead. I will not dwell on the past or
the future, only on the present. I will bury every fear of the future, all
thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments,
my sense of failure, my disappointments in others and in myself, my
gloom and my despondency. I will leave all these things buried and go
forward, in this new year, into a new life.
and at the end of the year – I am clean and sober.
I AM PRETTY ANGRY TONIGHT – just for tonight.
I guess it isn’t easy for people to know what kind of battles another person is fighting. I also figure that many people, if not most, thought I looked OK. Reality was that WALKING was extremely difficult. I used to look at the Footbridge and think – I shall walk to the end of it once more. I hadn’t been able to do that for a long time – even before Izzy died.
Trouble was that the left leg required conscious effort to make it move at all and walking even short distances was difficult. Breathing was impaired and fatigue ruled me. IN addition, my body began to spasm and seize up and I became afraid and exhausted by the pain and the onset of it which was unpredictable and generally without warning.
SOME DAYS , I could walk the 100-200 metres to this end of the Footbridge from my Beachshack and look out along the Bridge where our family has walked since the 1940s. I won the battle. I have walked it now and sometimes quite easily. Once by myself. Sometimes with support and once before dawn with Shaz.
I struggled with fluid all year until the Doc in Liverpool changed the tablets and now I have ankles and some mobility and easing of the Balloon Woman Feeling. The Liverpool Doc also thought the obesity was causing a lot of problems and likewise that was another Battle of 2015. I have begun to eliminate the truly fattening foods and will see what comes next.
But in January – I simply wanted to WALK to the end of the Footbridge. Out to the mouth of the river.
I HAVE BEEN using the word BATTLE – even though we are taught in AA that we are n o longer fighting anything or anyone. Maybe its the Battling of these things that has been destroying me. And maybe not.
One of the other Battles has been to maintain this Shack and the gardens and caravan. One I was losing bigtime till Rem and Don moved in next door and took it over. They have gone now and the Battle is back on. It was pretty wild in February and I just stood at the back door and looked at it askance. Likewise the housework.
I have also been struggling with the dimensions of my character which have always or long time been there. The agorophobic tendencies and the tendency to sink into despair or go into hysterics. The illness, shock and grief exacerbated that. Each time I left the house was against resistance and still is.
Today I took myself up to Izzy’s spot in the forest where the car promptly overheated same as the Alfa. I was fortunate because Koala John pulled up in his red Suzuki and helped me out and turned out he is doing Yard work and handyman. $25 per hour. Maybe I have been sent an answer.
And then of course – I am lonely. I was alone for a long time – and then I wasn’t and now I am once more – and from time to time , it devastates me. It is not easy without him.
You are reading from the book Today’s Gift.
Finish each day and be done with it. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two of the most useless phrases in the English language are “what if” and “if only.” We waste so much time and energy thinking about what we might have done and wishing we had acted or reacted differently. We imagine how things might have turned out “if only ..”
All of us make mistakes. To go back and wonder and wish about our yesterdays prevents us from living fully today. Each day is a fresh chance; a new beginning. We can only squeeze what we can out of the moment and let the drops fall where they may. Some will evaporate and some will form rainbows.
Can I forget about yesterday and start a fresh new day?
Keep It Simple
May you live all the days of your life’-Jonathan Swift.
Tonight, at midnight, a New Year will begin. None of us know what the New Year will hold. But we can trust ourselves to hold on to the spirit of recovery as we go through the year. As a New Year is about to begin, we can rejoice in our new way of life. By doing these things, we’ll be ready for the New Year.
New Year’s Eve is a good time to reflect upon the closing year and set our direction for the year ahead. This day reminds us that every day of the year is lived just one at a time. Looking back, we can see a year’s change in ourselves. We see the progress we have made on our journey. Perhaps we see how much stronger we are emotionally. Maybe we see relationships that have developed because of our growing ability to love. Certainly all of us have some things we regret and some changes we mourn. They too have their place today.
As we begin the coming year, let us review our relationship with each of the Steps. We may perceive aspects of our program that call for more attention. One or two particular Steps may speak to our needs at this time or may have been overlooked in this past year. On this last day of the year, we can again turn our lives and will over to the care of a loving God.
Following yesterday, and indeed most of this Holiday Season. I give up. I am staying clean. Doing the 3 Urunga meetings. And that is it. For me. For now. And pottering. A rod of steel seems to have formed within me which makes the answer to just about everything – NO.
STAY CLEAN. DO 3 MEETINGS A WEEK.
Can’t be bothered swimming or going to Hungry Head or anything very much at all.
It looks like what they call DEPRESSION nowadays but I am calling it INCUBATION.
I thought I had done rather well in 2015 – considering. One battering. Two batterings. And now I don’t know whether or not I have done well – except the forged rod of steel holds me upright and proud.
I HAVE DONE WELL. All things being taken into account.
Anyone who does not care to see that – can piss off.
And on that note , I shed the garments of Despair and Fear and Defeat and reclothe myself in the Robes of Recovery.
I can’t quite recall who said it to me years ago – maybe Marian – but she said :
I ONLY ALLOW ENCOURAGERS IN MY LIFE.
And one of the Alcoholic Nuns said :
I AM ABSOLUTELY RUTHLESS ABOUT MY RECOVERY.
I expected to feel fragile and heartbroken today but I do not. I stand upright and proud of the Unseen Battle I have fought this year.
The idea of “twenty-four-hour” living applies primarily to the
emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not
live in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.
As Bill Sees It, p. 284
A New year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600
minutes–a time to consider directions, goals, and actions. I must
make some plans to live a normal life, but also I must live emotionally
within a twenty-four hour frame, for if I do, I don’t have to make
New Year’s resolutions! I can make every day a New Year’s day! I
can decide, “Today I will do this . . . Today I will do that.” Each day
I can measure my life by trying to a little better, by deciding to follow
God’s will and making an effort to put the principles of our A.A.
program into action.
A big clash with a family member today. Tis is a truly squiffy time this year.
LIVE AND LET LIVE.
Meeting is done. Lunch at Pomegranate with the group. Then the phone clash.
LIVE AND LET LIVE.
Dashed if I have any other ideas.
I am sober. I am clean.
LOWER YOUR STANDARDS – said Rog to me once. Clean today is good enough.
Next time I shall hang up more quickly. I DID not invite that phone call and I do not accept the abuse.
Now to work on the stuff that has been troubling me.
One way or another, I seem to have offended quite a lot of people this Summer. It could be simply that I am offensive or it could be that I am getting well. I have experienced those things before.
Both of them. One thing I do know is that I have been trying to make people happy and OK and failing. Another thing that I know is that I have also been trying to find safe places for myself by giving money and throwing scenes. Done now. Done now.
I AM SITTING letting words I have heard come to mind.
TENNIS EDDIE FROM COOGEE- keep the little blue flame of outrage burning ready to light up when needed.
BEDE FROM RANDWICK – treat yourself like your own best friend.
NICHOLAS FROM COFFS – on being told that he was very sensitive – yes I put a lot of hard work into being this sensitive.
The main thing I have been doing is what Step 3 says – trying to organise the whole show. Trying to make things OK for the people I love. I have blown it somehows.
OH YES ! THANK YOU LISA. MONTHS LATER AS I ATTEMPTED TO PUSH THE BUTTON ON AN ATM AND THE STOREKEEPERS LOOKED AT ME ASKANCE – I THOUGHT ” THIS COULD BE IT FOREVER”.
Here is her story.
Obviously, there is a cause for what I experienced. Perhaps it was a viral infection from a recent bout of flu. Or something called a “non-epileptic seizure” which often mimics stroke symptoms (especially muscle weakness) with no permanent damage.Whatever it was, I’m back at my computer today. I even typed this whole post myself—which at this time yesterday would have seemed like a minor miracle.
Lets take a wee lookback over this year. See what I actually did rather than feel the emotions which have me sleepless at 3.a.m. It looks like my friend in Sydney is also awake at 3 a.m. I can see her on FaceBook. Tonight, a severe backache woke me. That’s not something I often get. I have put my doonahs on the floor and as I become sleepy again I shall lie flat and see how we go.
In the meantime, I am awake with a freshness coming up from the Lagoon and the glory of silence which I love in the middle of the night. I did dream of a shack like this over the last few years. There was an ad on TV with an old surfer and his beachshack and I rather fancied it. Its my upper back that is hurting and I think its because I am carrying loads which are not mine. Worrying uselessly over my adult children and sadnesses and pressures in their lives.
And once again, in the meantime – lets see what I have done this year – the first year after losing Izzy and being in the Coma. The first year and start of the second. This is the reflective last week of the year when I do not have to achieve anything. Just look back over the past 12 months and wrap it up.
IN January, I began to set up the Beachshack with the trappings I love. I do believe I need to fish now with some strength seeming to return and hold its place. Donna D told me that her father healed that way. Fishing at the Lido and she said it took him 2 years following major surgery. I moved in December of 2o14 and January was pretty much about settling in. My first place alone since 2007. My first place back in Urunga since 2001 – but this time with all the people and all things dead and gone. No parents or sister, no small children. No family life. No teaching. No Izzy. And severely damaged by the pneumonia and coma and lacking in strength and mobility. BUT I DID IT.
Then I began to move a few metres outside the boundaries of the Shack and down to the Lagoon. Its late tonight. Middle of the Night and I would like to be down there now. I can smell it from my open window here and feel the lift of the cooling edge. In February it became the walk I could stretch to on occasion. Maybe 20-30 metres. It seemed a very long way to me and the weakness was staggering – BUT I DID IT. I watch it still. In its many moods. One time , I saw a kangaroo swim across it. Well, I think I saw it as well as all the people who told me about it.
It rained a lot. Weeds grew and things went crazy and I wept a lot and mourned a lot and weeds grew in me and I went crazy. It was the time of great pain and cramping and I found an acupuncturist and was put on Chinese herbs and treated by a German Lymphatic Masseuse and they did what Western Medicine entirely failed to do. They stopped the spasms and the crippling pain. And I did not pick up drugs or alcohol. I do not move house or give up entirely. I waited through the rains.
Its best I sleep a little now. Before the dawn comes and with the back pain eased.Then I shall consider the other things I have done this year.
By April, I had bought a kayak and Sandy and I had been paddling. I can paddle better than I could walk at that stage. It was heaven.
IN April the Eden people came to stay and we were out on the Lagoon. Tied to one another and floating free. We had birthday parties and decorated the outside living areas.
And I saw my 11 year old granddaughter again.
I went to the Bellingen Show. That was achievement. Driving confidence has not returned and confusion about where to go and what to do has remained with me amidst grief and fear of what happens if I ” come over all queer” from the illnesses. Iz had done almost all the driving and we had both done the Shows together – but this May I DID go. I met the Kids there but I drove and I walked around. I DID IT.
I Went a -wandering into Fairyland with the Little Girls. Along the Lagoon between the Shack and the Lido. We saw fairies and talked and dreamed and walked. I allowed the Joy and Love of the Little Girls to do a lot of healing of me. I still had doubts about surviving but I lived on each day and went to Fairlyand.
In July, I did what I truly thought I would not be able to do. I flew to Eden. My head was still muddled and my strength minimal. Fear , on the other hand, was kicking my arse bigtime. Nonetheless, I booked tickets on 2 planes and flew to Merimbula. My brother met me and had lunch with me till the second flight and then I was there. One again I loved the flights. Hadn’t been on any for a long time because Iz would not fly. I saw a seal while I was down there and we all cruised around the area which I love. I saw the places where my son works. On the return flights I even saw mountaintops covered in snow. It was wonderful.
It was also the first time in this period since the few weeks after I came out of the coma, that I was simply taken care off and didn’t have to work out how to drive, shop and cook etc.
I saw trawlers and did meetings and and went to Candelo Markets. July was a wonderful time for me. I even enjoyed the Cold.
This doesn’t look like I am doing anything.Remi and Oz from next door were doing all the physical work. What was big for me was that I accepted their help and opened a door between our properties and gradually, over the months, a door in my heart.
I also turned 28 years clean and sober in August.
I SPENT weekends on Facetime with Eden and sometimes, The Girls were here as well and we were all together despite the 1000kms separation. I did a lot of computer activity all year and started the SilverBird blogs to work my way through everything that has happened. I truly made this shack into Home. I put my desk by the window which looks out to the Lagoon and over Buster’s bromelliads. I even olive oiled the wooden floors. I got the gas heater connected and I stayed put. I stayed.
In October , I turned 66. There’s an achievement for you. 66 years old. I had a party and Remi from next door prepared a Malaysian Feast. My mood was flat as it has been for most of the year but I was aware of the blessings and of the beauty. It was a good day and I did know that.
November came and I began to swim again. I did get put in hospital for a night but I also did a lot of salt water wading. Sometimes with the Children. I got myself in for swims even when I wasn’t so inclined. Its beginning to look to me as though I have achieved far more than I thought I had in 2015. Most of the time I was struggling against the massive fluid overload and the staggering grief and still – I have continued . Even though the Alfa packed it and the remnants of my money went on a new car and other odds and ends. I have been in the salt water. Cela suffice.
I have also watched my daughter’s house being built.
And in this last month of 2015, I have done even more. I went to Sydney where my brother and his partner and I had a lovely time.We travelled my home city and I go to city meetings. I also saw the Liver Specialist as planned and got a thorough checkover. He adjusted the fluid tablets and for the first time in so very long I have had weeks of relief. Plus he spoke of the obesity causing a lot of the problems and it startled me into cutting out bread and chocolate and cakes etc and beginning to introduce decent food. The trip to Sydney meant that I flew again. I was so much more at ease this time and able to make my own online bookings.
We went to many places we had known as children.
Now December is ending. Xmas is done. New Year is coming. I have $4000 left and a pension and 2 cars.
Ah yes – I also bought a car this year – all of it done through the muddled head, illness and grief. I have remained clean and sober. I have stayed in the one house.
I haven’t done what I had hoped I would.
I haven’t done as well as I am sure many people would have done .
TODAY I need to break Life down into very small edible chunks.
Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. The Lot.
The day is done and done as well as I could.
One meeting. One small party for my Girl. One visit with a Friend.
That is enough.
The rest will be whatever it will be.
One More Day
Sadness flies away on the wings of time.
– Jean De La Fontaine
When we’re sad, it’s hard to believe that time will heal all our wounds. An old family-practice doctor used to call it the TOT Treatment — Tincture of Time.
Our sadness may be due to a change in living patterns or even in the weather. It might be due to loss of a loved one, of good health, or even of a cherished object. And our grief takes time.
Whatever the reason for our sadness, after a self-imposed period of time alone, we begin to venture out once again into our world. We work our way, ever so slowly, back into some pattern of normalcy. TOT has done it’s work once again. Laughter surfaces, and we know we have put enough time and space between us and our sadness. We are whole again.
A time of sadness is natural, just as natural as the rediscovered joy that follows it.
This is my Last Post for the night. Its my “I AM SERIOUSLY NOT OK” post. The cry for help to the Unseen. Too sorrowful. Too lost to ever find my own way back.
Here I am with Ghosts of this Place. The generations and the families and teaching and memories. I would like to run from them but Old Flo once told me that the Ghosts would not kill me – the running from them would. I have known so many wise people over all these years. I do not forget their words.