Category: Inspired Thoughts


I was watching a tv show recently and one of the women on there is going through a situation that I can relate to on a small-scale.  Something happened between her and her husband and plenty of people would like to tell her what she should to including leaving him.  Now granted she is in the public eye so she has a lot of social media and that to contend with and I am sure a lot of hate mail surrounding any decision she makes.  So my heart goes out to her.

Her husband is ill, he has addiction and he is in rehab and is trying to get better for himself, her and their children and trying to recover his faith in God.  I believe he has now been able to come home and the family has now said much as to what has happened further and what any progress has been made.  I am trying not to listen to other media because, well they take things out of context and its honestly none of my business.

What she said that has stuck with my though is “Just do the nest best thing for the next 15 minutes.”  All you have to do is get through the next 15 minutes, do the right thing to get you through 15 minutes, then do it again.  And that’s how you will get through your day.  Because I know its one day at a time, but that 24 hours sometimes scars the heck out of me.  But 15 minutes, I can handle that.  Well, most days.  Sometimes even 15 minutes is pushing it for my comfort level.  But you have to know your limits, know where you are at during each moment.

I will always remember that “just do the right thing for the next 15 minutes, then do it again.”  Because that’s exactly what I needed at that moment when I heard it.  God puts those little sayings in our lives when we need them.  I believe in things happening for a reason, everything having a purpose, and in faith.  I have faith in something that I cannot touch, see, smell, taste or hear….but I have to believe that it is there.  Well that’s all for today folks.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Sober nation recently sent me an email talking about rebooting your recovery and I thought I would pass it on to y’all in case you have not signed up for their emails yet:

The truth is, is we are never as safe as we think.

It’s always terrifying and humbling to hear about friends or mentors relapsing after achieving multiple years of recovery. Addiction is a tricky foe, it has a way of sneaking up behind us when we are vulnerable.

Everyone (including myself) slacks off on their recovery from time to time. We get comfortable and we think to ourselves “I got this.”

I have seen many reasons for this…

  • Some of us no longer enjoy going to meetings, so we stop.
  • Some of us can’t afford weekly therapy sessions, so we stop.
  • Some of us lose friends or move and lose our support system.
We can help! There’s no need to white knuckle it. Let’s take action!

For the past 3 months, we have been quietly working on a 30 Day E-mail course that will Reboot Your Recovery.

This course is designed for everyone. If you have 30 days or 30 years, you will gain perspective, insight and daily exercises that will give your recovery a jump start.

I could go on and on about how amazing our course is, but I would rather show you. The course is a small $15 charge, less than you pay for Starbucks every week.

Except in this case, you can keep what you’ve learned and be able to apply it to a lifetime of recovery and life experience.

If you are feeling down, if you are feeling stagnant or if you are just interested in continuing to grow, this course is for you!

Take Charge and Start the Course

P.S. – If you have questions about what this entails, feel free to reply to this email. We only want to be of service. Here’s the link one last time

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Much love,

Sober Nation

There is a cost for what they are offering but if you click on the link and check it out they explain it all and it might be worth at least checking it out.  I am not going to be participating in this, but I wanted to pass it on in case anyone was in the need.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

The Spoon Theory

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

Cartoon image of Christine Miserandino holding a spoon
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.

I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.

When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.

After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

© Christine Miserandino

– See more at: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/#sthash.q4gPthgn.dpuf

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“If your parents ever measured you as a child, they had you stand against a wall, and made a little pencil mark on the wall to show your growth. They did not measure you against your brother, or the neighbor’s kids, or kids on TV. When you measure your growth, make sure to only measure your today self by your past self. If you compare your relationships, your success, or your anything against anyone else, you are not being fair to you. Everyone has a different path, a different pace, and different challenges to face along the way.”

— Doe Zantamata

Do You Need to Forgive?.

With March almost over I wanted to do a little check in.  This has been a big month for us.  I turned 30 years old, celebrated 9 years at my current job and we started foster/adoptive parent classes.  I have not been to a meeting in two weeks, I was feeling a little burnt out.  Plus with class being on Wed nights and not getting home till after 9pm the next day I feel dead.  Makes it hard to want to go anywhere Thursday night as well.  I do miss my Al-anon family, but right now I have to take care of myself.

I was taught that in Al-Anon, we have to take care of ourselves.  And right now that means getting rest and not over doing it.  The first class was a shocker and until I get used to staying up late on Wed nights it might be a little bit till I can get to a meeting.  I still do my reading and will still try to keep in touch with everyone.

This being the third month we talked about the third step, I am having to do that a lot and turn stuff over.  Its hard, but I know in my heart that my Higher Power is there right beside me through all of this.  I pray for the strength to stay on track and make it though this process of becoming a parent.  I know my daughter is out there somewhere, just waiting for us like we are waiting for her.

I use the serenity prayer so much om my way to work – it’s a good thing I don’t have my windows down, the cars next to me might hear me yell it over and over to myself till I can say it calmly from the heart.  That’s when I know my higher power has heard me and I feel the calming nature of his presence with me.

What are somethings that you have turned over to the care of God, as you understood him?  What are somethings that you know you need to let go of but are having an issue doing so?

30…part 1

I am not 30 years old.  Last Wednesday night I was  afraid to go to sleep.  If I went to sleep then when I woke up I would be 30.  Like by staying away I could avoid it.  It’s just a number I know, but for some reason 30 was a scary one.  I was watching TV and trying to keep it together.  I had taken Thursday and Friday off work, so my lack of sleep was not hurting anything.  I was trying not to keep my husband (who still had to go to work in the morning) awake with my panic attack.  I remember how I felt as 9pm and then 10pm rolled around.  The panic was almost too much for me.

I got pretty interested in what was on the TV at that moment (can’t tell you what it was now) And I looked over at the time to see it was 1:30am.  OMG, I was 30!  Nothing felt different, the world had not come to an end, no one was calling me telling me what a failure I was.  I was 30 and everything was just fine.  How could I have been so scared and nothing happened?  I had some how let my thoughts do me in.

As of today I have been smoke free for 70 days and saved $230.  It feels amazing to have made it this far and not feel like I can’t go another day and I know that’s what I can do.  Today I am smoke free, I can only live one day at a time…so I wanted to write down a list…or two…or three  Here are my 30 things…

30 Things that I am thankful for – in no particular order

  1. To be alive
  2. my parents
  3. my husband
  4. my sister
  5. My Sweet furry children
  6. Devereux (Foster care agency)
  7. my job
  8. a roof over my head
  9. my health (as bad as I feel today, it could always be worse)
  10. my friends
  11. al-anon
  12. AA
  13. being able to pay bills and some what on time most months 🙂
  14. My Hubbies substance abuse counselor and his wife who have become very close friends.
  15. being nicotine free
  16. loving my job
  17. a bed to make
  18. food in my house to eat
  19. clothes on my back
  20. people willing to donate items to others in need
  21. a husband who understands my migraines
  22. an understanding Boss
  23. supportive family
  24. being able to express my creative side
  25. strangers who smile back
  26. strangers who smile first
  27. warm spring days
  28. waking up to a Boxer who wants to snuggle
  29. falling asleep in my husbands arms
  30. hearing someone say they think I will be a good mom

 

Start Today…

Inspired Thoughts…5

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You Really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

I just love her and yes she was a bit cooky – but I like that about her too.  She loved herself enough not to hide away that side.  🙂  I let my cooky side out every now and then – does it make people laugh yes, but as long as I am laughing too that means no one is laughing at me.  If ya can’t laugh at yourself then life is no longer fun.  Life is hard, but ya gotta laugh and love yourself.  If you don’t love who you are, how the heck do ya expect someone else to?

When I no longer loved who I was, and I didn’t think God loved me anymore and I thought my husband had stopped loving me – my world was dark and scary.  But when I took a step back, looked deep inside of me and saw that I loved myself and I was a child of God who was loved by Him.  I also saw that I had done nothing to cause my husband to stop loving me, if he had then that was him and not me.  But I knew that he loved me, he was just too sick to be able to express it in a constructive way.  We have some so far since those days.

I now love who I am, I am not perfect, I am not always on top of my game – but I am me and that’s just fine by me.  For those who are still suffering from rejected love, it doesn’t matter if you are the addict or the other side of the coin – you have to love yourself first before you can let someone else love you.

If no one has told you they love you today (tell yourself that you love you!) I love you and God does too!

 

Inspired Thoughts…4

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

I know I have posted this on my Facebook page before, but not sure if I have posted this before on here.  I have been trying to stay positive lately.  Some days its easier than others, some days I let other effect me more than I should.  Also this week I have had pain in my head pretty much every day.  The weather here went from VERY COLD and VERY dry to nice and warm to rainy in a week and a half.

I try very hard not to take my pain out on others but it really make my tolerance for things get all out of whack.  My husband and I had an awesome weekend last weekend.  We went to the Outback steak house (have to tell you about something there that outraged us) then God sent us on a route home that took us right past the place where my husband did his substance abuse class.  They lost their contract with the courts and had to close.  It just so happens we drive by as they are moving the last of their stuff out.  we swung around and stopped to offer our help.  It was the first time I got to meet them and immediately.

Is it impossible for me to find happiness even when I feel like my head is going to explode – NO!  At least I am alive to feel it.  I know that by being able to feel I am alive.  I am able to open my eyes, fill my lungs with air, take in the good and let go of the bad.  It is up to me to make this my attitude.  Some days its harder than others and its easier to blame others for my fowl mood.  But I have to remember that if i give others that power – I am handing them my serenity.  It’s not theirs to have – its mine and I have to keep it in my hands.

So – remember that you and only you can decide if today is going to be a bad day or a good day.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

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