Friday, August 30, 2013

Vacation Time!

Hello to all! I hope you have a fabulous Labor Day weekend! I will be without technology for the next 4 days, though will come back renewed and inspired with more experience, strength and hope.

Vacation Goal: to overcome my addiction to cigs! They are weighing me down.

Will follow-up with emails from both blogs on Tuesday when I am back in town. Loving the questions, thank you all!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Temp temp tempTATIONS!

Temptations are a great way to look inside and face addictions, feelings and fears as they rise up. I believe they pop up as warnings from the soul. I can heal or remove what’s creating the temptation before it affects the lives of others and creates chaos in my own. In order to do that, I have to embrace feelings and emotions…oooo…scary! Ha! Though, what an empowering experience to say NO! I AM GOING TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY!

I’ve heard it been said that temptations are a gift, an opportunity to make an easier path for yourself. That they act as a red-flag warning saying, “Hey, YOU! You have an opportunity to change here. You’re on the edge of performing in a way that will harm others and yourself. Turn back now and figure out how you got here. Look inward and do the emotional work. Proceed and people will get hurt.”

When I make a choice, any choice, I create a new future for myself. Wow. Every decision I make is a cause that has an effect! Pretty remarkable that God gave me free will…with a heart, soul and conscience for direction. Absolutely miraculous. Not sure, though I think He probably laughs when I blame Him from time to time for my stupid choices and falling into temptation.

If I follow through with temptation:
For me, it might feel good though only temporarily. I'd have to continue similar stubborn behaviors over and over for the same "high"...ultimately, I'd crash and burn while bumping into others.

I have to be honest with myself and do the work-emotionally draining as it may be. What void am I filling here? Do I feel unlovable? Am I stuffing sadness? Will I be more whole as a person if I do _ _ _ _(temptation)? This temptation will always persist and I will become increasingly powerless until I look it square in the face.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gratitude Day

Today I moved and unpacked. Check.
Was surrounded by joyous family & friends. Check.
Ate a variety of tasty foods. Check.
Laughed so hard I cried. Check.
Meditated & prayed. Check.
Celebrated a birthday at a pool party. Check.
Wept to God because I am still grieving a loss of a relationship. Felt good so- Check.
Sang rock 'n roll loudly with friends in my convertible. Check.
Taught a young girl about having boundaries. Check.
Sang karaoke with my sponsor. Check.
Rode a motorcycle in a dress & flip flops (only for a minute-had to see how it handled). Check.
Met new people and learned how to do the 'Harlem Shake'. Check.

Now I'm about to rest in my very own bed that's been in storage for four months. Today was a gratitude day!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Third Step Prayer-However It Works For You


Dear God, I'm sorry about the mess I've made of my life. I want to turn away from all the wrong things I've ever done and all the wrong things I've ever been. Please forgive me for it all. I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner.

Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way. God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life.

Please, God, move into my heart. However You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me.

And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I'm not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow. I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life. Thank You and I praise Your name. Amen.

THIRD STEP PRAYER used by Clarence Snyder. Clarence started A.A. Group #3 in Cleveland. 

(Both sponsor and sponsee on their knees...) Sponsor says: God, this is __________, he is coming to You in all humility to ask You to guide and direct him. __________ realizes that life his __________ is coming to You Lord in all humility to ask to be one of your children - to work for you, to serve and dedicate his life to you and to turn his will over that he may be an instrument of your love.

(Sponsee repeats after the sponsor): Lord, I ask that you guide and direct me, and that I have decided to turn my life and will over to you. To serve You and to dedicate my life to You. I thank you Lord, I believe that if I ask this in prayer, I shall receive what I have asked for. Thank you God. Amen.

My Own:
Dear God, please help me to do your will always and in al-ways. I ask you to work through me as a conduit for you. Thank you, love you. Amen.

"You see, there is no set prayer that "MUST" be used, just a simple prayer of your own wording to confirm your willingness to take action as a result of your decision, necessary control of all aspects of your life, to abide by His will, that you might stay sober this day, Today." -Barefoot Recovery quote

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Other Blog -Can't Keep A Codependent Girl Down

You might like it...or maybe you won't. I can only hope it helps. If you are looking for a blog update, I may have posted on that one for the day. Trying hard to stay afloat on the daily posts...though sometimes, I'm a bit of a slacker.

Friday, August 9, 2013

To Play The Victim, Or Not To Play That Game...That's An Internal Question

Victim playing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Victim playing (also known as playing the victim or self-victimization) is the fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulate others, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

By abusers

Victim playing by abusers is either:
  • diverting attention away from acts of abuse by claiming that the abuse was justified based on another person's bad behavior (typically the victim)
  • soliciting sympathy from others in order to gain their assistance in supporting or enabling the abuse of a victim (known as proxy abuse).
It is common for abusers to engage in victim playing. This serves two purposes:
  • justification to themselves – as a way of dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from inconsistencies between the way they treat others and what they believe about themselves.
  • justification to others – as a way of escaping harsh judgment or condemnation they may fear from others.

By manipulators

Manipulators often play the victim role ("poor me") by portraying themselves as victims of circumstances or someone else's behavior in order to gain pity or sympathy or to evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering, and the manipulator often finds it easy and rewarding to play on sympathy to get cooperation.[1]

Other types

Victim playing is also:

In corporate life

The language of "victim playing" has entered modern corporate life, as a weapon of use even for the most competent of professionals.[3] To define victim-players as dishonest may be an empowering response;[4] as too may be awareness of how childhood boundary issues can underlay the tactic.[5]
In the hustle of office politics, the term may however be abused so as to penalize the legitimate victim of injustice, as well as the role-player.

Underlying psychology

Transactional analysis distinguishes real victims from those who adopt the role in bad faith, ignoring their own capacities to improve their situation.[6] Among the games Eric Berne identified as played by the latter are "Look How Hard I've Tried" and "Wooden Leg".[7]
R. D. Laing considered that “it will be difficult in practice to determine whether or to what extent a relationship is collusive” - when “the one person is predominantly the passive 'victim'”,[8] and when they are merely playing the victim. The problem is intensified once a pattern of victimization has been internalised, perhaps in the form of a double bind.[9]
Object relations theory has explored the way possession by a false self can create a permanent sense of victimisation[10] - a sense of always being in the hands of an external fate.[11]
To break the hold of the negative complex, and to escape the passivity of victim-hood, requires taking responsibility for one's own desires and long-term actions.[12]

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Alot Happens TO Us Through The Years

Recovery to me means that I am no longer loyal to dysfunction, but am loyal to the heart of healthy functionality. I have needed tools for healing-still do-and have been given so many from others, books and through meditation with God.

Everyone, including myself, has been a victim of abuse- and abuse shakes the spirit. It is okay to heal. It is okay to cry. Every tear that falls is a manifestation of our own self-worth. Pain is tough to work through, especially at times when we feel alone.

Hope comes in when truth and connection happens...whether it's a connection from another human being or a Higher Power. I first have to admit to myself that I am in pain-this takes a lot of courage, strength even. I then express where it is rooted from usually through visualization, writing, or discussion. Then, I work on setting it free. The only solution to gain hope I have found is through another person understanding or having gone through similar experiences of the cause of my pain. 

Experience. Strength. Hope. 

A lot happens TO us over the years, however it does not have to keep us shackled. How can we fly free if our wings are still burdened with yesterday's pain?

All of us, every single one if us, has a story. We were all once children. We all bleed the same color, we all cry, we all have pain. Let's help one another. We are all worth it!

Bitterness begets bitterness, love begets love. Honestly, don't we all prefer love? Let's fuel what we want more of.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Bradley Cooper Crush/Encounters

Bradley Cooper, star of The Hangover and my personal favorite Silver Linings Playbook--
"I was at a party, and deliberately bashed my head on the concrete floor," Cooper recalls for the Hollywood Reporter in its Sept. 14 cover story.

"Like, 'Hey, look how tough I am!' " The incident, which occurred while he was under the influence, left Cooper with blood dripping from his body, but still wanting more.

"I did it again," he says. "[And] I spent the night at St. Vincent's Hospital with a sock of ice, waiting for them to stitch me up."

This was just one of many moments that led Cooper to much healthier decision-making. "I don't drink or do drugs anymore," he says, adding that he gave them up at age 29. "Being sober helps a great deal … I remember looking at my life, my apartment, my dogs [when I was still using], and I thought, 'What's happening?' " Before becoming an actor – and PEOPLE's 2011 Sexiest Man Alive – Cooper wasn't comfortable in his own skin.

"I was so concerned what you thought of me, how I was coming across, how I would survive the day," he says. "I always felt like an outsider. I just lived in my head. I realized I wasn't going to live up to my potential, and that scared the hell out of me. I thought, 'Wow, I'm actually gonna ruin my life. I'm really gonna ruin it." [end article]
Our stories are so similar, it's uncanny! I also had the concrete floor experience, minus the blood...totally for attention.

Alright, on track now. In 2006, I was living in NYC and-- with only 8 months of sobriety --I was bound and determined to start my own literary agency.

I would occasionally treat myself to shows and heard Julia Roberts was making her Broadway debut in Three Days of Rain with Paul Rudd and some new actor-- Bradley Cooper. I was so game!

Sold out show? I'd find a way in, plus this had never stopped me before in college. I was determined so I stood patiently in line. Then, serendipity occurred when someone couldn't make the show. The theatre sold me the ticket! Awesome.

I quickly sat in my balcony seat, all-prepped to watch great talent grace the stage. The anticipation to finally see Julia Roberts perform live was nothing short of amazing. I had never taken rare moments such as these for granted. Who could?!

So, I'm all excited for a great performance from Julia Roberts, though the production energy began to feel heavy and confusing. Ultimately, I think she just wasn't on it that particular show and unfortunately the audience was stiff. I felt empathy while watching Paul Rudd overcompensate in his performance for what seemed to be Julia's nervousness. I was a bit perterbed as people started to get up out of their seats. Come on people, really?

Then out walks Bradley Cooper and BAM! He stole the show! He was unpredictable, charming, energetic and full of life! I kept thinking Who is this guy??

After the show, like always, everyone waits for the actors to walk out and sign their Playbill. Well, I had never seen such a line! The whole street was absolutely packed with people trying to even catch a glimpse of Julia Roberts. Yeah, yeah, I wanted to meet Mr. Cooper-and I did.

When he came out he walked up to me and I told him he saved the show. He looked at me for a moment to I guess digest what I had just said, "Thank you. Are you an actress?" I replied with an honest, "I used to be, but now a literary agent."

We made small chat for a brief moment and then I left, so excited I had to tell my soon-to-be new boss Caren Bohrman about this man's talent! (Oh, I had been offered a job if I moved back to Los Angeles to work for her agency. Ms. Bohrman, you are truly missed and, wow, what a wonderful mentor and contribution!)

Alright, so fast forward about two years later and, after vying for this man's talent to several producers and agents, I am now living in Los Angeles and still hadn't seen him in much! At this time I believe I had already been laid off during the Writer's Strike and was onto a new company idea (dreaming big and setting new goals has really helped to keep me moving forward, better and sober) and was talking with some potential clients in Beverly Hills.

So, anyway...I get lost in the Hollywood Hills trying to get over in Studio City. I'm on the phone with a friend yackin away, not paying attention to where I am going-of course-when all of a sudden I find myself in a cul-de-sac and I have no clue where a main road even is. I put my friend on hold because there's a guy standing in the street on his phone. I ask him for directions to Laurel Canyon and he laughs, "How did you end up out here?" I had no idea. So, he tilts his sunglasses down a bit and shows me on a piece of paper how to get to where I need to go. I thank him, all the while thinking he looks super familiar, and finally I'm back onto a main road.

My friend--who's still on the phone with me--is still laughing that I had gotten so lost. Then all of a sudden, I realized who that man was--Bradley Cooper!! I freaked and my friend thought I was crazier now because she had no idea who he even was...not until years later when his career blew up.

Still to this day, my friend Terri will keep me posted if she hears any news on Mr. Cooper-like the time he became her neighbor in Venice Beach and she tried convincing me to come out and spontaneously bump into him! She'd say, "I think there's a connection between you and Bradley Cooper." Well, today, I found out the connection--a life of recovery. I never knew he was sober and he's been in recovery a year longer than me. Freakin' awesome!

Hey, Mr. Cooper, thanks for Three Days of Rain, Silver Linings and for the directions to get over the mountain! Keep up the good work!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Self-Motivated Intimacy

Okay, so I just got an email this morning from a woman in recovery who lives in New Zealand that I thought would be great to write about my own experience. I only have a half hour lunch break, so I’m sure I may miss some key points, however, I think it’s a great topic!

She said, “I am only six weeks sober and I desperately want to have sex. My sponsor and I did step-work on my sexual inventory and I want to be true to my word to wait and respect myself. How did you deal with this? Did you date?”

Well…hmm…honestly, I got married 3 months sober BUT he went away for 6 months. In that time I really had time to sit with myself, have peace and quiet and not a bunch of male distraction. I focused mostly on my career as a literary agent and maintaining sobriety. Though, after I got divorced, it was extremely hard to just be alone and deal with the fact that I no longer was a foster-mom or a wife. I didn’t like much about my life, honestly, and went back to my old ways-though still not drinking.

If you think about it, what’s our main second addiction while we are still drinking/using…? Sex? Men/women? Attention? So that is definitely what I fell back on and I couldn’t figure out why I was so miserable! Then after many months of more of the same, I took a course on sexual integrity and realized I hadn't been applying some strong principals into my life that I’ve learned over the years. I was simply flying around, “Look at me! Pay attention to me! Make me feel good!” Seriously. I was sick of myself…and so were a few of my closest relatives and friends (we won't even talk about a couple guys' hearts I had on a string-maybe later when there is more time).

So, we all do what we want anyway…but, like my sponsor used to always say, “Fast forward that tape til the end. What is the end result if you make that decision?”...

I decided no longer was I going to be intimate with anyone who I did not see myself spending the rest of my life with. Some of my friends say, “Well, you can just have one night stands still, can’t you?” Um, no. People (including myself) get hurt, get their hopes up because- if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Then I owe an amend to myself or another because my intentions were Self-Motivated Intimacy...and they thought it might be more. That keeps the decision pretty simple for me.

Now, I am not a saint. Not perfect. I relapsed briefly-painfully-for two days with the LOOK AT ME, PAY ATTENTION TO ME and lack of sexual integrity about 7 months ago. I learned a lot and got back on track-quick! Like Oprah always says, "After you know better, you do better."

I hope that helps… and thank you for reading! I've always wanted to go to New Zealand, maybe someday :)