March 21, 2012

Listening to My Inner Voice………

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:40 PM by Sandra@Just Regular Folks Wandering

Alanon’s Courage to Change is a favorite daily read of mine.   The wisdom in this book has helped me alter the faulty thinking I acquired from living with the effects of alcoholism and addiction. I purchased this delightful little book five years ago in a 12 step meeting and it’s still part of my daily reading. 

Today’s reading was a timely reminder to listen to my inner voice, or higher power.  Even though experience, logic, and old family rules tell me to take the safe route in life, lately, my inner voice has been begging me to try a new direction–especially in the job department. 

For many years I’ve stifled my inner voice and ignored my dreams and desires in order to take the safe way through life.  As a child I sketched and drew; I wrote stories and poetry; I sewed and created.  I used to be so artistic, but I put it on the back burner in order to deal with other’s lives.  I picked jobs that were safe, easy and that paid the bills–I settled for the expected.

Lately, I’ve been really struggling to remain in my current job.  I work in an office where the leadership changed and the work environment  has become very dysfunctional.  I’m very unhappy and it’s an effort to stay positive.  I’ve been battling with the idea of  leaving my current employment and finding a  job I actually enjoy. 

Logic tells me to stay put.  I’ve got great benefits, a pension, seniority, and decent pay.  So what if I’m not happy.  It’s a safe and secure job in a world where unemployment is high and the economy is still recovering.  It’s not so bad, it pays the bills, just deal with it! 

My inner voice tells me to run for my life!  It screams, take a chance, there’s something better out there for you!  You deserve to be happy.  My higher power sends me signs that I’m worthy of a better job and that there’s a company out there more appreciative of my talents.  Do I listen?

I can hear my higher power whispering in my ear, “take a chance.”  I feel that tap on my shoulder, the winks and signs that say “detour ahead”  and sadly, I just freeze.  I’m afraid and all I can do is pray for the courage to change my old way of thinking and start listening to what my inner voice is telling me.  I know I have a lot to offer, I deserve a better job.  Life’s too short, sister…..calm your fears, listen, and then take action.

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March 19, 2012

Cognitive Distortions – or – Stinkin’ Thinkin’

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 7:10 PM by Sandra@Just Regular Folks Wandering

I follow this very interesting blog on ACOAs created by a therapist.  Her last few posts were on cognitive distortions, aka irrational thoughts or stinkin’ thinkin’.  What an eye opener for me.  I learned about stinkin’ thinkin’ in Nar-Anon, but I never imagined there was an actual list created on the topic, nor was I aware I had so many of them.  Here’s just a few that I can relate to:

  • All-or-nothing thinking (absolute, black/white)
  • Only noticing the negative
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Mind reading (my speciality!)
  • Being right (all the time, every time!)
  • Overgeneralization
  • Disqualifying the positive (minimizing the good, focusing on the negative)

It was recently pointed out by my husband that I had been displaying a few of these behaviors recently.  One I agreed to (mind reading) and the other I denied (being right).

Mind reading was a skill I learned early on and used through out my life to bring stability and calm to an other not so stable life.  It was a tool I acquired in attempt to control the uncontrollable, other people and their actions.  I always assumed that if I could stay one step ahead of my alcoholics/addicts that I could avoid some of the painful consequences they brought into my life.  I have a hard time of letting go of this behavior–it’s so automatic for me I do it without realizing it.

Recently, I was accused by my spouse of always wanting to be right.  I of course disagreed, after all I was just expressing my opinion on published facts that proved my statements were correct.  Ha, ha!  My husband says I talk a good talk and  I should have been a lawyer or an interrogator. I’m not sure where I picked this one up, probably my family of origin.  Why?  I’m still trying to figure this one out.  Sounds like a question for a therapist!

March 15, 2012

Taking Care of Ourselves

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:05 PM by Sandra@Just Regular Folks Wandering

One thing I learned through attending a 12 step group was that it was okay to put myself first.  This is something I was taught not to do as a child and something I really never considered doing throughout most of my life.  As a child, my parents came first.  I followed orders and did as I was told, good or bad.  As an adult, I put my husband then children first. 

 When my girls got sucked into the world of addiction, I focused on fixing/saving them and put my needs aside for years.  I disregarded basic healthcare and dentistry until things became emergencies.  By my 40s I was at risk of  loosing my teeth and developed an auto-immune disease from the stress and lack of self-care.   My attitude and disposition soured beyond belief and even I did not like myself.

   I  learned in 12 step meetings about boundaries and how to use them in my best interest.  I learned that it was okay to say no if I really did not want to do something for someone.  I learned I couldn’t save my girls if they didn’t want saving, but I could save myself.  I learned that I had to care about and love myself  before I could love others. 

I’m writing about self-care as my older sister lies in a hospital bed fighting to breathe.  She has two “normal” daughters and has never faced addiction within her family.  Even though her life has been a lot less chaotic than mine, she does not put herself first, either.  A smoker, she refuses to quit even though both our parents died from lung cancer.  She recently fell extremely  ill  because she stoically denied herself the rest and recuperation time she needed to recover from pneumonia.  Her husband had to call 911 because she refused to go to the emergency room, even though she was having extreme difficulty breathing. 

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we put ourselves last ?  I was given messages of unworthyness growing up. I’ve learned that I’ve played these messages subconsciously in my mind through out my adult life.  I used to put others first because deep down inside I didn’t feel worthy enough to put myself first.  Not anymore…………..

March 2, 2012

Procrastination

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:12 AM by Sandra@Just Regular Folks Wandering

I finally did it! I joined a local hiking club and went on my first hike last weekend!  This is so not like me–not only am I a procrastinator, but I’m an isolater and have a hard time joining groups.  I’ve been considering joing ever since I saw an article in my local paper, but being the procrastinator I am, put it off for months.  It was fun and it was nice hiking with other’s who enjoy the outdoors.

I’m starting to figure out a little bit about why I procrastinate.  I believe alot of it comes from fear and low self-worth.  Fear of being accepted, fear of change, fear of not being good enough.  I”m really good at coming up with great ideas, then talking myself out of it before I even get started.  Or, I’ll start something then jump to a new project, thought or idea, before even finishing what I started.  Should I add fear of success on to my list?

My solution:  apply the 3 As –  awareness, acceptance, and action.   (1) I’m quite aware that I procrastinate and how it effects my life negatively.  (2) Although my past contributes to why I procrastinate, I acknowledge that it’s up to me to change my behavior.   (3) Just do it! If you love to do something, give it a try!  Face your fears and try something new–who knows you might have fun! I did!!

March 1, 2012

Thursday Gratitude

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:36 PM by Sandra@Just Regular Folks Wandering

Today I am thankful/grateful for:

  • Sleepy eyes at 2:00 a.m. (finally!)
  • Over the hump towards the weekend!
  • Tolerance for a job I no longer want nor like.
  • ESH through recovery blogs
  • Courage to try new things
  • An awesome book that speaks to me
  • Health insurance
  • Gratitude to counter my negative outlook
  •  For that second cup of coffee
  • Yoga tonight!