What Comes Naturally

nov 11 eightySince my daughter and her dog are allegedly leaving here and moving into their own apartment on Friday of this week, I have eased up on some rules. For instance, the dog was not allowed into this room, it’s door remained closed to him.  On Thursday, I thought “why not cover the bed with a blanket and let him sit on that bed and look out the window?”  So, I did, and he is happy to sit on that bed, looking out the window.  I also let my daughter’s ex-husband stay here last night.  I have never let one of her men stay here – including the father of her two children.  This man I disliked without ever meeting him for years.  He was her partner in crime when she was using.  They were running and gunning together until he went to prison.  He got sober in prison and remains so.  I actually like him.  That did not come naturally to me.

It came pretty naturally to me to leave this blog last week.  I was tired of writing on it, I was tired of writing to the ether, with very little evidence that anyone was reading.  Apparently there are a few more readers that I was aware.  Another blogger gave me some perspective:  we aren’t just anonymous anymore.  We probably never were.  But now it is clear that we leave an electronic trail, and it might be too scary to leave a comment.  I have had some fantasies in the middle of the night that I’d be involved in an accident or some such thing and my entire life would be dredged up.  I have produced enough electronic material to keep folks interested in me for a long dang time.  It is probably risky behavior.

But I have been doing it for a long time.  It has become part of my life, of who I am.  The grind of posting daily is probably too much, but I don’t like not “having a blog.”  And that is not exactly precise either, I probably don’t mind posting daily, I would just like someone to acknowledge that I am not posting into the ether.  And I don’t take the time to write anything really “worthy” except on the weekends, and then I usually don’t feel like doing it.

Increasingly, I realize that what comes naturally to me is usually selfish.  I write about “I,I,I,I,I, me,me,me,me,me….”  I wish I didn’t think this way.  I WORK to think differently, one would think it would become a habit, but it is not.

This morning, I sat and watched CNN for the first time in a long time.  When I saw the extent of the typhoon damage in the Philippines, I began to worry about an old woman I sponsor there.  Through a Catholic organization, I send a paltry sum of money every month, and she sends me letters thanking me for rice, vitamins, and medications.  That little bit of money makes a major difference in her life.  Frankly, I don’t even notice it because it is automatically deducted from my bank account monthly.  She lives in a little hut with a dirt floor, and does laundry for her living (at the age of 75).  I wouldn’t imagine a structure like that would have much of a chance against that storm.  I think I found on their website that her little area has been destroyed, but all of the people are safe, to their knowledge.

I wish when I heard of a disaster in the Philippines I had thought of her first, but I didn’t.  It didn’t come naturally.

I heard a story at a meeting yesterday from a young man who went from a Salvation Army guy – he spent a year there getting sober – to a man who is now 12 years sober and is a nurse practitioner.  He was working in the trauma center.  A man showed up,  blue, not breathing.  The whole team were there, my friend was on his chest, doing compressions, etc.  The gurney was quickly wheeled through the waiting room, and a drunk woman who was waiting yelled “hey!  how come he gets to go first?!?!”  That might be the most perfect illustration of how an alcoholic’s brain works.  And sometimes that doesn’t really get much better when we get sober, we just get better at not looking like such  jackasses.

I went back through the blog to see what was happening a year ago.  I was seriously fighting the urge to commit suicide.  I was at the literal end of my rope.  I hung on in the hope of getting back to work at the hospital.  I should have been hospitalized, but I knew that would screw up my future chances at any job.  Having spent most of my career at a psychiatric hospital, I know what to say or not to say when the decisions about hospitalization are being made.  If I had it to do over, I think I would have let go of the rope and gotten the intensive help I needed.  But then again, I would probably be sitting here writing about depression today from the perspective of being still in it if I had done that.    Oh, who knows.

I know that I am glad that I wrote about it.  I know that I adore the people who hung in there with me and left me comments.  The comments are so kind.  There was one exception, but he doesn’t even count.   I was so isolated, this blog was like a lifeline to me.

So, that’s it.  I’m back.  I don’t know how often I will write, it could very well be daily, if you don’t mind reading about what I had for supper and the knitting I am doing.  Can you indulge me in that?

 

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16 Responses to What Comes Naturally

  1. I’ll indulge you! With pleasure. Welcome back! (And…that dog is cute sitting on the bed.)

  2. Vanessa Campbell says:

    I am happy you are still blogging…I would miss you! Sorry I don’t comment often, but I do read you and enjoy your stories of doggies, grandbabies, work troubles, your aaaaa meetings, what’s for dinner, going to the movies, are you eating vegan, paleo and so forth. I hated to hear you decided to quit long distance running and I celebrated for you when you posted you were changing jobs back to the place you frist started many years ago. I could see your depression lifting and too celebrated that victory with you (although I didn’t comment or post it to you) You are someone I have come to enjoy. Whenever I watch the news and hear about snow in your area, I think of you and hope you get to work OK or hope your beautiful flowers survive early snowfall. I think of you as a calming sober person in my life. An inspiration. Hope you have a wonderful day! Can’t wait to read how your week turned out. Thank you for blogging!

  3. Ellen says:

    I think it’s just inherently interesting when someone tries to write honestly about themselves and their life, as you do. If you focused on philosophy, or worthy thoughts, etc, I would probably not be interested. Being concerned with ourselves is a human trait, IMO. Sure, some cover it up entirely. I just don’t think they’re being that honest. I’m glad you’ll keep blogging. I identify especially with the job ups and downs you experience, and your life as a mature person, keeping lots of balls in the air. Cheers

  4. Syd says:

    Glad that you are back. And the dog looks really happy.

  5. sue tegland says:

    What I find of value is what you apply to your life of what you have learned, whether from your religion or your recovery principles. Sharing honestly should never feel narcissistic, unless you are touting over and over how great you are, which you do not.
    Sharing how you were in so much pain, and how you struggled to stay alive, and how you are in a much much better place now is of value, at least to me. You chose a route and trudged that road, and it takes grit and prayer and support. I will try to be more supportive myself.
    I know how lonely it feels to put it out there and get no feedback. I am on my condo board and do everything and get no feedback. Of course, I have resentments against the rest of the board, but I will keep it to myself as a big lesson learned from doing service. Thank goodness I’m done with my term next month. In the meantime, I’ve straightened up to get ready for a Board meeting here tomorrow, as nobody else will volunteer their place. Also, I will pray to keep a good attitude about it!
    I almost quit my 12-Step service work as a result of the overthinking I was doing about service. But then perspective returned, and I remain willing.
    There, I shared!

  6. Nancy G says:

    Mary Christine, I am sooo glad you’re back! Your experiences help me to see that I am not alone in the various and sundry experiences of life. I value your honesty and yet have not reciprocated much…as in being part of the “ether” you feel is out there. Please know that your words are being treated with kindness and compassion. And gratitude.

    Your friend in CA, Nancy G

  7. Mj kelly says:

    I am so glad you are back too ! . I just passed my 5year mark in sobriety and I can’t tell you how much you have inspired me. HAPPY
    to read your post today.. God bless..

  8. Ray says:

    I have enjoyed your blog for years and I thank you.

  9. Nancy says:

    Mary Christine, I love you and I’m glad you’re back.

  10. Annette says:

    Yay!!! Yes, I can indulge you in anything you want to write about! So glad your back. My morning routine was all messed up without you! Lol

  11. Mary LA says:

    Good to see you back. Blogging changes and we change and yet for some of us it is a way of sharing our lives and interests. I hope your friend in the Philippines is safe — and that dog looks so sweet.

  12. Connie says:

    I am glad you are back. You teach me how to do this gracefully and with your head up.

  13. Dede says:

    I think all the people who come to your blog identify with you in some way. I love reading your words. All of them. Thank you.

  14. daisyanon says:

    Welcome back! I’ve been offline for a few days and am so pleased to see you blogging again. And I like hearing about your dinner and your knitting. Hope the running goes well.

  15. katiegirl says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

  16. Ms S says:

    I’m glad too that you keep on blogging although I don’t comment very often I know. I teach adults for a living and that doesnt get that much feedback. there is the obvious physical and less tangible signs that people do or dont understand but I dont get to know most of the time how things I say affect people. I only hope they do. I’ve never blogged so that may be a fair or unfair comparison. I know that I realky value what you do here when you share honestly about you. I dont always immediately agree or get what you say but because it has an emotional and spiritual integrity I always feel enriched by engaging with your accounts. I think of the choices you make a lot when I am struggling and it gives me strength. Than you.

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