Since you are now aware of your past and your prior actions, tell yourself, NO this is NOT happening again! This isn't REPEAT TIME. This is CHANGE time. The past is the past - bad things, toxicity. You're in the present - but look at the positive things which have occurred. You're back with L, working on the relationship. You found another job where you are learning new skills. You are getting up everyday, going to work, living with L and understanding yourself better.
And you are helping folks by posting here.
Tell that Anxiety to jump off a cliff - and wave it "bye bye" as it hits the valley below.
Post by RoseNadler on Aug 20, 2019 10:48:04 GMT -8
I think a big part of my problem is that I feel like I’m not allowed to be open about what I really want.
I’m going to say it now: All I’ve ever wanted is to love and be loved. I want that more than anything else I could have on this planet. And I’m ashamed of wanting that. I’m afraid to tell people.
Oh, I “want” other things - like a job - but mostly those other things are things I want because I’ve been told I’m supposed to want them, or because they’re necessities of modern middle class life (like health insurance, a place to live in a safe neighborhood, etc.) I admit that I’m privileged. I’ve had a decent middle class life and I haven’t had to worry (too much) about things like choosing between buying my meds and paying the electric bill.
No. This is about what I want in the deep, emotional sense.
A good, healthy modern woman isn’t “supposed to” have a deep longing to be in a love relationship. We’re supposed to not care if we have a relationship or not. So openly admitting that I want a good relationship more than anything else is very hard for me to do. I feel anxious, and afraid of being scolded or ridiculed.
I’m afraid if I tell the truth about what I *really* want, the instant response will be to be told that I should be happy and content if I’m never in a good relationship, for the rest of my life. That I should be strong and brave enough to stand on my own. That I should be passionate about my career. (And truthfully - how many people are deeply passionate about whatever they do for a living? Be honest, now! On the whole I like my job. But I’ve never been able to stay passionate about anything that people were willing to pay me to do.)
What brings me joy? That could be a clue to “what do I really want?”
Well, I love having pet cats. I enjoy crafts, and making things. I love reading (or watching) good stories. I love the beach. Those are things I “want” with a little more intensity than I “want” to be able to buy new tires. Tires are a necessity; not having them could make my life worse. But getting new tires doesn’t “spark joy” in the way that getting lost in a good book does.
And because I’m addicted to love and affection and attention, nothing else on this earth feels as good as being held by a man I love who loves me, and being told he loves me.
So it’s like there’s three levels of “wanting” something:
1 - Wanting it because I need it (tires, groceries, electricity.) 2 - Wanting it because it’s enjoyable (cats, crafts, stories.) 3 - Wanting it because....why DO I want the deep, good relationship? — Because I haven’t felt loved in the past (going back to childhood.) — Because I want to feel like it’s safe to tell someone I love him. I want to be able to say it knowing he’ll honestly respond, “I love you too.” — Because I’ll feel like a failure if I can’t do this thing that everybody else on earth seems to do easily. I feel like not having a relationship (or not being able to constantly maintain a good one) means there’s something terrible wrong with me.
(This is starting to remind me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.)
I started to put this in the Emotions > Anxiety section, because it makes me feel so anxious and ashamed to tell anybody that I want a good love relationship more than I want anything else. But I started unpacking “wants” and I went all over the place and it got TL;DR - so I’ll put it in my journal instead.
I think it helps to remember that “the monster” (anxiety, OCD, depression, addiction, or whatever) never really dies. We can’t kill it; we can only make it go away for a while. Sometimes for a long time. We can use therapy, meds, and other tools to help us subdue “the monster” to an extent.
When I was a lot younger, and knew less about mental health, I seriously thought that my anxiety and depression and addiction could be completely CURED someday, and then I could have a normal life and not have to think about stuff like that again.
I was wrong. The anxiety, depression, and addiction can be managed, that’s all. Sometimes, with luck, they go into remission for months or even years.
And that’s when I get complacent, and start skipping the self-care that helps keep me healthy. And sooner or later, that catches up with me; and then I go through a panic attack or a depressive episode, or start to indulge in stinkin’ thinkin’.
I can’t speak for anybody else. Some people might be able to slay some of these dragons permanently. But at 55, I think I’m finally beginning to realize I will have to deal with this all my life.
Post by RoseNadler on Sept 17, 2019 4:54:39 GMT -8
Weird dream, 9/16/19. Make of this what you will.....
I just remembered it hours later, so don’t remember everything. But L and I were in a sexual situation with Doug H - a guy I loathed from 4th grade through college. It seemed like L wanted to “watch” me and Doug H. So, I did Doug H. But I didn’t like it, and didn’t want to do it again, and said so.
In a later part of the dream, I was doing some New Age/personal growth stuff, and I think L was on the periphery of that - he might have been thinking about joining me in that pursuit. At one point, we were at the B & N bookstore, and he was in a hurry to leave and go to the next place (one of the New Age/personal healing activities.) But I really needed to go to the bathroom, so we agreed that I would do that before we left.
And the women’s room was taking ridiculously long to get to a point where it was my turn. I think there was only one toilet working, and several people waiting. I let a little kid go ahead of me. There was one stall that I thought was free, but there turned out to be a potted plant where the toilet should be.
I was getting anxious - I didn’t want to take too long and L. to get impatient with me. So I tried complaining to a store employee, but she basically blew me off. I was mad about that, so I briefly considered doing my business in an inappropriate place. But I chose not to.
I asked him if he wanted to go to an Indian restaurant across town tomorrow (meaning I would pay), and he said he didn’t feel like driving that far, and we could go someplace near here.
The trouble is, I’m getting tired of the same-old, same-old. And I want to have some fun with L. All we ever do is sit around the apartment. I’m getting tired of never doing anything except knitting and reading.
I don’t *think* it’s about me. It’s not like he’s going out and doing things with anybody else (either women, or buddies.) AFAIK, he never goes anywhere except the state capitol library and sometimes the museum.
I hope it’s not about me. Maybe he’s just turning into a tired old man who never wants to do anything (like my father has been most of my life.) I never wanted to marry a man like my father. Well, L and I aren’t legally married. (I thought maybe not being married would keep things fun.) And L used to be willing to go out and do things with me, for our first 10 years or so. So, I started out with a man who’s not like my father, and he turned into that anyway. Funny how those things work.
And I’m pretty introverted and sort of a homebody myself. It’s not like I want to go out clubbing every night. I don’t think dinner in a restaurant across town is that crazy.
I want to have fun with L. This is the same problem I had with my father. He didn’t have fun with me or enjoy me, either.
The trouble is, the men in my life who did have fun with me were unreliable and just plain bad for me.
Every time I’ve tried to make my own life more fun, it hasn’t worked. If I do something alone, it doesn’t hold my interest for long usually. And if I encourage men, that’s ALWAYS a disaster.
So, no more looking for men to play with. It will have to be L or nobody. And when I was sick, bereaved, unemployed, and not mentally capable of having fun - L was there for me. Not like those “fun” guys who disappear as soon as things aren’t easy.
Maybe L’s just getting old, and I just have to deal with it - or else be alone forever. And “alone forever” isn’t an option I’m willing to do. If it ends up that way, it will be because God forced it on me, 100%. It is NOT what I want.
I know I can still do some fun stuff on my own or with my female friends (although they all live far enough away from me to make it inconvenient.)
I’m just sad right now. I’m the little girl who wanted Daddy to play with her, but he wouldn’t, because he’s just not a playful person.
Post by RoseNadler on Oct 12, 2019 10:37:24 GMT -8
UPDATE to Oct. 12, 2019 Journal
Well, instead of reacting to L. immediately, I stayed quiet and considered what to do.
I think probably the best, most mature thing to do would be to have a real conversation with him about how I would like us to have more fun together and share more. But I’m chicken. I’m afraid he’ll tell me that he doesn’t want to give me any more than he’s giving me now. I’m not prepared to walk away from him if he doesn’t want everything I want.
So, it’s probably best if I don’t start that discussion now. I’m not ready for it.
He takes me out to dinner about twice a week at restaurants that are right in our neighborhood. He takes me out to movies, when there’s one we both want to see. We have every evening together at home on the couch, and we sleep in the same bed. I think he’s trying to give us a chance. And at this point, I’m not brave enough to rock the boat.
The good thing here is that I didn’t get all upset and clingy and in his face about it. I used to do that in the past, in previous relationships.
This time, I sat with the feelings. I acknowledged them to myself and felt them, but I didn’t spill them out onto him. While he was in the shower, I did some journaling about it. I prayed about it.
And you know what? After he got out of the shower, he came to me and said, “I changed my mind.” So it looks like we’re going to the restaurant across town tomorrow night after all.
Then, I went to a CoDA meeting. I talked about this at the meeting. After the meeting, a woman about the age of my mother invited me to have lunch with her, so I did. We talked about it some more.
This whole situation started out with me getting hurt feelings, but I turned it over to my higher power, I journaled about it and prayed about it. And the result was not only that I’m getting what I wanted in the first place - but that I was able to do some program work around it.
(I’m just posting this for my own use, so I can keep the Steps that I’ve done and am doing in one thread and not have to jump from thread to thread in the Steps folder. You do not need to comment on this.)
Twelve Step notes for daily reading:
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over love, romance, fantasies and relationships—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: [We] Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and [to] another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked him [God] to remove our shortcomings.
Step 6 & 7 Flaws I’d like removed or reduced:
1. Acting like a child when I don’t get my own way. 2. In situations with another person (especially L) - thinking only about what I want and what’s good for me; not looking at it from the other person’s point of view. 3. Feelings of entitlement (“Why can’t I have what everybody else has?”) - Replace with gratitude for the good things I do have. 4. Not wanting to do my fair share of the work.
Ways I’d like to encourage myself: 1. Ask for help or feedback when I need it (especially at work.) 2. Find healthy ways to nurture myself when I’m unhappy, without expecting other people to make up for lacks in other areas of my life.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Once you have finished your list of people you have harmed, and are willing to make amends to them (step 8), it is time to do so—unless going to them would reveal information that would devastate them. This step takes time and you can continue to work the rest of the steps while keeping this step on your calendar as a long-term project.
You can make amends in writing or in person. But remember that no one is obligated to accept your apology. If you owe people money, and cannot afford to pay them, then set up a payment plan. Just be sincere and most people will respond in a positive way.
If the person you want to make amends to is unavailable, or dead, make a living amends. This means doing for someone else what you would have done with this person if you had it to do over again. Give money to charity if you cannot repay someone money you owe. If you neglected your children, because of your love addiction, then make a fresh start with your grandchildren. If you hurt friends who are no longer in your life, find new friends and be good to them.
Step 9 is hard work. It takes time. But it feels good and clears away the wreckage of the past. After you have completed this step, it is time to forgive yourself and let go of the past.
Thank you for [good things that happened] yesterday. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for this new day.
Please help me today to stay sane and stay in my recovery mind. Please help me to handle things today with sanity and wisdom. Please show me what you would have me do.
Dear Lord, I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it. Help me this day to understand the true meaning of powerlessness. Remove from me all denial of my addiction.
Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that you remove all twisted thought and addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit & restore in me a clear mind.
God, I offer myself to Thee To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!
Dear God: Thy will be done. I know you know what is best for me and [request] is what I want. If what I asked for is good for me then please consider it. I need guidance here. But most of all I want to know what you know about what will really make me happy. My will/ego is not reliable right now and will always need your input.
Dear God, I am ready for Your help in removing from me the defects of character which I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself & guide me toward spiritual & mental health.
My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you & my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do Your bidding.
Higher Power, I ask Your help in making my list of all those I have harmed. I will take responsibility for my mistakes and be forgiving to others as You are forgiving to me. Grant me the willingness to begin my restitution. This I pray.
I pray for the right attitude to make my amends, being ever mindful not to harm others in the process. I ask for Your guidance in making indirect amends. Most important, I will continue to make amends by staying abstinent, helping others and growing in spiritual progress.
Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say? And to whom?
Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and guiding my steps. INTOJC, Amen.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2019 11:06:50 GMT -8 by RoseNadler