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It may be quite simple.

What a strange and hard and beautiful weekend.

Friday was a long day after a long week. Saturday was me trying to learn to navigate in the face of all the everything….while also doing a 12 week goal challenge, maintaining my home, decluttering, mom’ing 24/7, attending virtual Al-Anon meetings, showing up for myself, backpedaling and flailing around in my progress, etc etc etc.

Saturday Chris and I successfully and safely walked through a conversation about overwhelm and needing help and support. Neither of us seemed to jump or get defensive and while I was reacting to the overwhelm, he wasn’t reacting to me and that brought us to a really great place.

I also talked to my sponsor on the phone for the first time. It’s something I wanted, but not something I felt “enough” to initiate. That’s an interesting thing for myself–not feeling my enoughness. I’m also navigating people and old friendships and new ones and common denominators and trying to feel a bit more whole. And I got to talk about that with someone who knows the right things to say back. Someone who is a good active listener and who can role model active listening. I need that. We talked for an hour on Sunday too. I could cry for how fulfilling it is.

Then Saturday night amidst all the pandemic and quarantine, we had a tornado touch down less than an hour from here. Downstairs we went at 10pm.

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Don’t let this happy face fool you. Just moments before, my sweet 75 pound pup had to be carried down the stairs because she was petrified.

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My favoritest girl. (And a trash run that needs to be made. Ha.)

The tornado (and R) helped me to realize that we need a better tornado plan. And I am ready to get back to work on the basement. I don’t know that it will happen soon, but I can at least put all that stuff in the car and make a trash run. Or I can start putting some of it out for trash little by little. But yes. No more basement stagnation, even with a bunch of other things going on. A five minute timer each day.

Overwhelm turned action.

Sunday brought us one last day of Spring Break downtime.

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The boys made a gingerbread cake and, later in the night–when it felt late and like the night should be wrapping up–S asked me to roast Brussels sprouts. I retorted, “help me then.” And he did! And we chopped together and took quality time and listened to Martin Sexton play on facebook and it was goodness and turned a hard weekend into pure beauty.

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Why are you running away?

Part of my sponsee homework this week was to flesh out my higher power a bit more. Not necessarily to share with Beth, but to have a more tangible and articulated foundation for myself.

Chris and I had this two hour conversation tonight that rocked my night. I love those nights where we set up the computer to watch Heroes, but then fall into deep, connected conversation instead. The world falls away and it’s just him and me in this moment.

And it wasn’t until we had this two hour long conversation that I truly grasped the validity and necessity of forming and articulating your higher power. In part for myself, which I’ll expound on in a minute, and in part for Chris because he’s been in this process of working his fourth step for a couple months now. And it’s completely his journey and I want him to walk it as such, and at the same time, I know it’s been a hard process–one I don’t have experience to speak on–and it’s been on my radar that he hasn’t written anything yet. I imagine it’s a crazy hard thing to sit and explore and he’s so incredibly brave to even go there. Tonight, with our talking, as I articulated my higher power and he shared how he’s been fleshing out his own, I realized the beauty of the sequence of the first four steps.

How can you write out a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of yourself alone? That sounds terrifying and traumatic. That’s not a process I’d want Chris to endure without a solid higher power. You got a clear picture of your higher power tho? That sounds terrifying and completely doable. That’s the experience I prefer for him.

I haven’t done my fourth step yet. I’m not there. Tonight’s conversation was pivotal to all of this tho. I was saying how I had this solid higher power picture. I was saying my foundation is solid. So freaking solid. But also, I’m a sponsee for a reason and I don’t claim to know all the things. Beth wants me to be able to come to a point of articulation. Cool, I can comply with that. And I even said to Chris, “so while *I* feel I’m set with my higher power picture, Beth, she’s the poker and she comes in to poke at my views to show me what’s strong and what needs work.”

I know my place. Even when I want to snarkily boast about my evolvedness.

So I eloquently tell Chris about my higher power.

My higher power is the universe. I unquestionably view the universe as a thing that will always take care of me without exception. It is always looking out for my best interest, and the best interest of all.

As an added characteristic, I also view my higher power as a parent, who, when I come to it, vulnerable and broken and damaged and hurt, it will always show up with open arms, always wrap me in comfort and will leave no room for me to believe anything except that I am all-loved.

That is my higher power.

(Pretty cool, huh?)

And then, I played Beth in my head for a moment (poke poke poke) and considered “ahh, my higher power only works in the present.”

OH MY FREAKING GOD–

(No pun intended.)

I have spent all this time with a freaking kickass higher power and I only let him play with present me. Oftentimes I think about including him in future me stuff, but it’s not really in a tangible way. Never do I let him interact with past me.

This is where I call upon my inner Julie and allow her to say, “what would it mean to you that the universe was looking out for past Jill?” That past me-the scared little girl me–is safe with the universe. That she was being looked after back then, as well as right now–if I so chose to dive into the psyche of all that.

And I guess my immediate, involuntary response is, “Fuck you, you can’t be trusted. She got hurt and you didn’t look out for her at all.”

……

Well, that was unexpected. I probably have some work to do there. That was very honest and vulnerable of me. I was expecting to go somewhere else with all that. I was expecting that posing the question would bring a sense of relief and provide an immediate safe haven where past Jill could come out to play and heal.  I expected immediate growth here and the opportunity to wrap it up in a neat little bow and call it a day. Figuratively and literally.

Instead I think I’m just going to call it a day and sleep instead. And think on this again tomorrow. There is time for forgiveness in tomorrow.

xo.

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Close your eyes and think of me.

Yesterday I suddenly became so freaking excited about all the things I’ve got going on–the growth mindset and decluttering (which is starting to feel really tangible again) and my very own website that I’m diligently working to launch. And fast as that realization hit, it was pulled from me.

I have no one to share it with.

That’s not entirely true. And it’s not my intention to discredit the people I have in my life, whom I love dearly, if I need something. But it’s not the same as having someone (or multiple someones) to be giddy with. It’s not the same as having someone who has known you for five years or fifteen. And despite my want for trying, I have no idea how to make up the difference.

Yesterday I navigated by leaning into the sadness and loneliness. I cried. I reached out to a new friend, someone who feels like she could be my people. I read al-anon passages. I watched Allie videos where she preached that I was worth clothes that make me feel good and uncluttered spaces and peace.

Slowly I walked through the grief.

And it sucked, while also feeling like progress. It was both. And I take comfort in the fact that it could be both and not just the suck. Still, tho. That suck is pretty sucky.

I find myself wondering often why my friends aren’t my friends anymore. Was it me? Was it them? Were we just not compatible for the long haul? I understand maybe they were just for a season, but…I miss them. I miss the me I was sometimes able to be with them. And I don’t know why they left. I wish I knew. It feels like maybe I’d better know how to keep friends if I knew why they left me. And yes, it does feel like the people I have in mind all personally chose to leave. To slowly sever the connection. It feels like if I could understand it, I could move on.

Reaching out to find out the why doesn’t feel like a good path tho, so I will continue to move along.

The notable progress about yesterday, apart from the through-not-around, was that food-as-comfort never crossed my mind. Food wasn’t on my radar at all. Pretty cool.

Today I am meeting two new friends for lunch. See what I can do about this loneliness business.

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I’m bare-boned and crazy for you.

Here it is Sunday night. Almost time for sleep. Truth be told, I should have gone to sleep an hour ago. I just want to take some time to reflect on my weekend first.

I don’t know that I had a picture Friday night of what I wanted for my weekend. And maybe that’s better. Expectations tend to sabotage future moments.

Friday night I ended up going to sleep and Chris and I hadn’t watched any episodes of Heroes. I know he had kinda passed out at one point and was pretty bummed about being human and tired and needing sleep. As I was getting ready for sleep, I came to find a very old blog I had written at for many years. Life is weird. It provided a momentary distraction and now I’m kinda over it. (It’s a good “over it” tho. The kind where there is nothing from the past holding onto me today.)

Saturday morning was sheets of ice for roads, and my alanon meeting, and later long connecty conversations with Chris and a snowstorm that didn’t storm as much as predicted. It was me buying a domain name for this here blog and allowing it to have an official home that I can call my own. It was lit candles and opening the year 4 anniversary tobacco blend. It was Chris marking me as his and kisses and entanglements and too cold kitchen and perfect warm bedrooms. It was spooning and contented slumbers. It was multiple Heroes episodes and bliss.

Today, yesterday’s sparse-ish snow afforded us a shopping trip and a restock of healthier food to make way for healthier plans. It was moments of overstimulation (on my part) that provided opportunity to share my voice and my thoughts and my ruffled feathers. And it gave Chris the opportunity to show me how “defensive” isn’t his go to anymore and how we can have reasonable conversations and I learned that I was able to perceive his reactions accurately.

I know we’re always practicing our individual, personal growth as well as growth in our relationship. It was really cool today tho to see so clearly how it has evolved. So many aspects of ourselves are the same as (almost) seven years ago, and soooooo many are different. We are better people. And really, that’s just always what I want for myself. I want to try and fuck up and try again and practice and mess up and, at the end of the day, no matter the little moments, I want my big picture to reveal that I was always growing into better. And that we were always striving for that together.

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Anything but empty.

Not much is harder than watching someone you love have the hardest week of their life. He is hurting so much. The medication was tearing him apart while he was on it, but now that he’s stopped taking it, it’s a whole different war. He is so fucking strong to detox this out of his system. So brave. And even still, I see him feeling like he’s losing the fight.

He looks at me and he makes the face of my husband, smiling as if to connect and soothe me. But I don’t feel connected. I don’t feel soothed.

My husband is in that body somewhere. Fighting for his life. Fighting for our life together and for our family. I will not distract him with the pain of missing him. I will not distract him with the things I can handle.  But make no mistake, I am so utterly lost without our connection.

Today, on day seven, he said he was thinking of throwing in the towel. Because it’s so bad and because it’s still so bad, days after he thought he’d be on the upswing. And because there’s only so much a body can take and he has far surpassed that point.

And maybe it’s selfish of me, but damn, if he could just endure another couple days. They say the worst is over after seven to ten days. He could be on the other side of this! And then no more waiting weeks, months, years to be off it again.

But still. To have to look at him today and be completely helpless in providing any real relief–and probably making it even worse to flat out tell him “Don’t do it. Don’t give up.” It hurts. It hurts like dying inside. And I don’t even know if I’m right. There is no guarantee he’ll be over the hump by day ten. I can say I have enough faith for the both of us. But it doesn’t stop any of it from hurting so damn much.

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Get you out of my head.

Now comes the part I don’t know what to do with.

I ate my pretty lunch.

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Now what?

‘Cause what I want to do is eat something else too. I used to never snack, and now I feel like I exclusively snack. I don’t want to cold turkey it. I want this transition to feel….not terrible. Yet I’m left here in a bit of limbo.

So I’ve decided I’ll have a handful of tostitos in a bowl and call it good. I can eat again later when it’s time for another meal.

After that I will get back to laundry and potty training my sweet (sleepy) pup.

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How do you navigate your non-food hungers? What are your go-to snacks? I’d love to engage with the people who “like” my posts. I’m sure all of you aren’t bots….probably…