All my rowing seems to have stimulated a deep ambition for chocolate chip cookies. 🍪🍪🍪
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
My addition to this story = Drinking is a choice. It’s that simple. Either feed the evil wolf with alcohol or deny that wolf any alcohol.
Than me if it’s my choice to swallow any in the first place?
Oh, yeah – drinking is a choice. That must mean that NOT DRINKING is also a choice. This choice extends to the – first drink. Don’t take it. That’s control and control is power.
Is it me or are debates and arguments sometimes nothing more than exhausting and exasperating? They just wear me out! I feel like I need to go take a damn nap!
So, I’ve figured out that sometimes, not always, the best way to end it is to give the other person the last word. It’s not always easy, but when I want them to move on – giving them the last word seems to work.
Now – I understand the importance of being right when the other person is wrong 😁. But – I’ve learned that occasionally, feeling peaceful outweighs being right (even if I’m wrong).
One point for me!! Yay!
Just a thought.
I’m not seeing the bed in there … oh, wait. Found it. Are those – – – fake flowers hanging from the purse?
I just thought of something every person on the planet shares – our mortality. It’s unavoidable. But that’s not a diagnosis is it… Hm.
I don’t know where this thought came from, but I was laying in bed this morning and this – situation – blew into my mind (this is totally non-fiction): I have a young child, say between six and ten years old, and she or he has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Do I tell my kid they’re going to die? How do I say it when they’re so young? They don’t even fully grasp what death means at such a young age. Bless.
Of course the child is going to ask questions. Like – What is death?
“Well, Sweetheart, it’ll be like going to sleep and not waking up.” This is the most common go to explanation – right? It makes sense AND it’s kind.
“Will I dream?” The child asks.
“I don’t know. But probably better than a dream. It’ll be fun and happy, and it will be like you’re really there.” And then we dive into all the people and animals that went before the child who the child will (hopefully) run into.
Now – this can’t be a lie we’re telling because we’ve clearly not died ourselves. It’s just a hope. A wish. Something to say that will comfort both the child and ourselves.
I couldn’t keep something like that from my kid. And I’m a parent. There’s something very wrong with keeping information this monumental from the very person it’s going to happen to.
Anyway – So, then I remembered that I’m a lot closer to the exit door of my own life than the entrance. I’ve gotta get busy being the best me I can muster.
Time has run short…
Eric’s smile faded as he looked from me to the loud table. “The noise level coming from their table is totally unacceptable, Eric!” I answered, for him. Eric blinked at me and said nothing. Why did I know what to do and he didn’t? Maybe he’d never confronted a group of unruly residents before. Maybe he was trying to decide for himself whether or not the noise level was unacceptable. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to escort me from the cafeteria.
Maybe he was new.
“Are you new, Eric?!” I asked. “No!” He yelled back. “You look confused, Eric. Here’s the thing. I can’t hear what people at my own fucking table are saying. Have you noticed that you and I are having to scream at each other to be heard while I’m practically in your lap?! I can’t stand much closer to you! The noise level in here is over the top! Will you please take care of that?!” I yelled, pointing to the loud table again.
His uncertainty and immobility unnerved me. I needed a confident, go-getter right then and it seemed I’d chosen the wrong guy for the job. Finally, he said, without yelling, but I lip-read enough, “Yeah, I can say something to them for you.” “Eric,” I said, “don’t say something for me, say something because they’re being too fucking loud!”
I watched him approach the loud table as I took my seat. I disliked his slouched posture and decided he looked insecure. He got everyone’s attention though, and the entire decibel level in the room dropped. This amazed me. But as soon as he turned and walked away, it rose right back to where it had been. No one gave a shit. Except me. Some guy at the loud table started strumming a guitar.
I snarled. “Fuck this shit.” I said to myself. “What?!” Yelled the woman across from me at our table. “I can’t hear you!” I had no doubt in my drugged-up head that I could succeed where Eric had failed. I confronted the noise and got down to business. “HEY! Excuse You!” I yelled from one end of the loud table. At least 25 people sat clustered around it – about one quarter of the total house population. There were residents sitting here that belonged to other groups.
The young guy near the middle picked away at his guitar between two young women – a blond and a curly haired brunette. These three were clearly the center of attention. Several residents made eye contact with me including music man, who stopped playing, and the two girls, while others ignored me or simply hadn’t heard me. So, I tried again. “Fuck me! HEY!!” I roared. This worked. It actually worked for the entire dining room. The instant quiet got my attention for a moment. Sweet.
“Didn’t that guy over there,” I said, pointing to Eric across the room, “Just ask you all to keep the noise down? Yes, he did!” I answered for them before they had a chance to answer. “I know he did because I asked him to and watched him do it!” I leaned over their table a bit and placed both my hands in front of me – for balance, mainly. “Why didn’t you take him seriously?!”
No one answered, so I continued. “You guys are being OBNOXIOUS! The noise level coming from this table is fucking RIDICULOUS and it’s PISSING ME OFF!” I was finding my rhythm here. “Do you realize that everyone at my table has to yell at each other just to be heard?! We’re all the way over by the doors!”
Several residents looked away from me, embarrassed, while others just stared. And then, as though on cue, about half the table, including Blondie and Curly Brunette, started defending their behavior simultaneously. However, Music Man immediately silenced everyone by simply raising one arm. I found this quite impressive. “We’re just having a little fun and enjoying each other’s company. Why don’t you ease up?” He asked me. He smiled and strummed a few chords for emphasis.
“Oh, yeah?!” I shot back. “Why don’t you ease up on your guitar pickin’ and muster a little fuckin’ consideration for the new people here, like me, who are detoxing?!” And then I tipped the scale before he could weigh in. “Oh, what’s that?! You didn’t get the memo?! YEAH, BUDDY – THIS IS REHAB! Some of us are on meds and going through withdrawal, and I for one don’t appreciate having to listen to your backup singers while I’m trying to eat! They SUCK!”
The above is an excerpt from my memoir, SATURATION.
Where we are in life is a result of choices we’ve made.
I read, on a regular basis, that folks are unhappy with the situations they’re in. These situations range from marriage and partnership to jobs and freedom. It’s weird.
The way I see it – nearly everything we do is the result of a choice we just made. Nearly E V E R Y T H I N G. For example: someone has something to say about “needing” to go to the grocery store. And then complains about the anxiety they experience at the store because it’s so busy.
So, don’t go to the store. Go without the things you think you need until you absolutely have to go to buy the essentials. And when you DO choose to go – go when the store first opens or right before they close so that you’ll avoid the crowd. Or better yet – have your food delivered.
I guess where I’m going with this is that I don’t see a lot of people acknowledging that they’re in the position they’re in because of a choice they made. Another example – someone complains about a job without owning the FACT that it is their choice to go to work every day. They have reason after reason why they need to go to work. And I get it. We all have bills and many of us are parents with kids who like to eat. I have two myself (they’re grown). But this doesn’t take away the fact that it’s still a choice to go. I know for a fact that there are plenty of stores and businesses hiring right now – even in the middle of this pandemic. Life is too short to be unhappy and I wish more people could see this.
Just saying. We have choices. And choices are powerful. They bring results in one form or another. These small things, choices and results, are like dropping a pebble in a pond and the result of that is – the ripples spread. Our choices and behaviors have an affect on other things and people.
When we make choices that bring about our own happiness – this affects things and others too. How could it not?
On my third day in treatment I finally made the mistake of deciding I could handle the noise in the dining room. I followed Shelly through the lunch line and tried to lip read her over the noise. It looked like she was explaining where to find things like napkins and condiments as I followed her index finger each time she pointed to something new. I finally gave up trying to communicate with her at all after I could have sworn she said something about corn. I looked and didn’t see any corn.
We took our seats with the Silver group (everyone had to sit with their assigned group at designated tables) and I managed to put away about three bites before I decided I’d had enough. I tossed my food in the trash and walked out. I took the noise personally. I found it intensely invasive and it infuriated me. However, that night I decided to give it another shot and went back to the dining room for dinner. I don’t know what possessed me to make me think this was a solid idea.
If I got in a bite to eat, fine, but my main ambition was to discover the source of the noise. I was on a mission. I surveyed the room from our table and within about 30 seconds I honed my focus in on one table about four tables over from ours. I’d found the source. Those were the people I wanted to strangle! I decided to introduce my issue to staff. I figured it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to address the group myself considering I was in withdrawal and felt like a seething, maniacal bitch.
“Hi!” I yelled to the staffer above the noise at the table where we signed in before grabbing our food trays. “Does it seem a little loud in here to you?” He was a little guy and his name tag read ‘ERIC’. “What’?!” He yelled, leaning across his table and directing one of his ears toward me. “It’s loud in here, Eric! Don’t you agree?!” “HI!’ He yelled, smiling. “It’s always loud in here! What’s your name? Aren’t you new?” His breath smelled like corn. “Jennifer. Yeah. I’m new. Hey, do you think the noise level in here is acceptable right now?! Do you think the yelling and insane laughter and the music coming from that table over there is acceptable?!” I yelled, pointing to the loud table.
Eric’s smile faded as he looked from me to the loud table. “The noise level coming from their table is totally unacceptable, Eric!” I answered, for him. Eric blinked at me and said nothing. Why did I know what to do and he didn’t. Maybe he was trying to decide for himself whether or not the noise level was unacceptable. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to escort me from the dining room. Maybe he was new.
“Are you new, Eric?!” I bellowed. “No!” He answered. “You look confused, Eric. Here’s the thing. I can’t hear what people at my own fucking table are saying. Have you noticed that you and I are having to practically scream at each other just to hear each other and I’m nearly in your lap?!” Please take care of that!” I pointed again at the loud table…
The above is an excerpt from my memoir, Saturation.
I was moved to watch a podcast. I’ve never watched one before. Is this weird? I watched Dr. Eben Alexander describe his NDE, near death experience, what caused it, and how the coma that ensued had exposed him to the truth of the Universe, God, and Angles.
Interesting stuff. I could relate to a lot of what he said even though I’ve never had an NDE. He tells the story of his remarkably rare illness in his book, Proof of Heaven, which I just finished last night. It’s an absorbing read for anyone who doesn’t believe they have it – life and what happens afterward – all figured out. I certainly don’t.
Be your own comb. Only you know how best how to work your comb through your own hair. Stop giving away your power by handing your comb to someone else. Find your own answers. It’s impossible to conceive a question about something having to do with your own abilities without also having the answer – somewhere.
Isn’t the title to this post great? I just had that epiphany last night as I was trying to fall back to sleep.
Life is tangly. Like long tangled hair. If we try to yank a comb through it all at once, that will really hurt – and yank out a huge wad of hair. Something we desperately want to keep for as long as possible. We work on Life much more effectively when we’re sober and take it one thing at a time. If we gently work through our tangles on one side of our head and then move to the tangles on the other side – by the time we reach 97, all of our tangles should be out. Mostly.
And then I had to lay on my back and look at the ceiling and say, “I need to stop doing this to myself. I’m not having any fun anymore.” Literally. I’m not embellishing here. The title to this post is not – as our new President likes to say – hyperbole.
I think anyone who really wants to get sober – anyone who’s gotten sober enough in the 1st place to understand what that even means – has to do whatever it takes not to swallow alcohol when they want a drink – even if it means crawling away from the idea of buying a bottle. Even if it means crawling away from the bottle next to your couch, chair, or bed. That shit needs to go in the dumpster.
The only way to get sober is to stop swallowing alcohol. Everything else we do to help us do that is secondary. No one makes us drink.
It’s a weird place to find yourself – on the floor – crawling. But if that’s what it takes to get sober – SO BE IT. DO IT. It’s a temporary situation that will result in a permanent improvement if you will only choose to follow through.
Drinking is a choice.
Getting sober is a choice.
Staying sober is a choice.
Everyone can do it.
“Want sobriety? Stop swallowing alcohol.”
~Me (Jennifer Place)
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Alcoholic’s Anonymous
Doesn’t this beg the question – if we were all able to know God’s will for us and to have the power to carry that out, why doesn’t God just do it him/herself? How are we to learn anything if we all know God’s will? Isn’t this why we’re here? To learn stuff?
My interpretation of this step is: pray to God to know what God wants and the power to carry it out. Say for example, God wants me to be a turkey farmer in Kentucky? I would be devastated to discover this because I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be a turkey farmer and I don’t want to move to Kentucky. Isn’t there a lesson in there somewhere? Aren’t I here to discover what that is? What if I moved to Kentucky, became a turkey farmer and fell into a depression so great I could never escape? What if I’m happily married here with a family? Yeah. No.
There’s no point for any of us to be here if we can know and have the power to carry out God’s will.
I’d like to think that God gently encourages us, coaxes us even – into a greater understanding of Life, the Universe, and Everything at a pace that matches our psychological, emotional, spiritual, and mental stride. Clearly, this is very different for everyone. If God allowed each of us ONLY knowledge of his – or her – will for us and the power to carry it out, what might happen to our own will? Because we do have one. Right? I mean, when was the last time someone told you to eat something you didn’t want to eat, wear something you didn’t want to wear, or even behave in a way you didn’t deem up to your own standard – and you did it?
Don’t most of us like to call the shots as often as we can? Doesn’t “being an adult” entitle us to just a smidgen of control?
I think many of us are pretty aware of how little control we have in this life. And the control we do have – and we do have some – we like to manipulate and exert as much as possible. If I want to move to Kentucky and become a turkey farmer by GOD it’ll be my decision! 😀