Changing our lives one blog post at a time #mentalhealth #recovery #mentalillness #addiction

August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

So much to write about, so little time.

In the last two days:

1. After four years of estrangement, my daughter is back in my life and things are moving quickly. On Tuesday evening she left her two granddaughters with us for the evening, and then they all stayed the night;

2. I am estranged from my father and there has been very little interest, on the part of my siblings, to know why. Yesterday I talked with Brother1 for two hours about his process of coming to terms with the possible sale of FamilySummerCabin and then he finally asked me about my relationship with Dad. I was able to tell him with great clarity due to the hard work I have been doing to figure out the relationship dynamics that I will no longer put up with;

3. We rent a room to an old friend and he has informed us that his kidney disease is back and he doesn’t know how long he has to live. My sister (who has known him longer than me) and I took him to dinner last night to talk about end of life planning;

4. My sister and I have had a relationship conditioned by parents’ mental illness, infidelity, estrangement, and abandonment. Last night, after we had dinner with our friend, she sat down at our piano and we sang and played together for the first time – just the two of us;

5. We have two tenants in our basement suite who moved in last February. Ever since they have been complaining about the sound transfer from upstairs. Last night they complained about my sister and I playing music;

6. My son is editing my dissertation and I am finally making headway on it. I am taking time off wage earning work to finish but it is hard to decide not to earn money each day in favour of writing;

7. I love construction and working on site each day is one of my favourite things to do. This dissertation has been like walking through life with an anvil hanging from my neck. I just want to build the pergola project;

8. We adopted two shelter dogs in 2010. One of them was a 4 month old male shepherd x with extremely strong guardian instincts. Last night he met a new stranger and did not attack. Not once;

9. There is a settlement coming from Husband’s estate, it is about 3 months overdue at this point. It involves deed transfers so getting everyone’s signatures on all the paperwork from remote geographic locations is taking time. We don’t know how much money is coming, it might mean we can finish the renovation we started;

There, that is pretty much the complete list. Anyone of these items could be a blog post, in an of itself. It does help to get the list off my mind. I have to tackle things one at a time. Just like everything else in life.

What I notice about this list is that my life is changing. I have put unhealthy relationships on hiatus, and I am investing in healthy relationships. These healthy relationships are starting to grow new possibilities and opportunities. When I started this process, it was extremely difficult to put my experiences into words and I often held my tongue even when I was hurt by someone else’s behaviour. I am getting much better at saying no, or not endorsing unwanted behaviour. What a difference this small change makes.

You know, they have these campaigns about addiction, to just say No. What they don’t realize is the addict does say NO many many times in their minds, but they lack the experience – of knowing what is a good idea and what is not, of taking a stand in their own defence, of having a social network of supportive, loving people who can be there when the going gets tough.

I guess I am saying that there is hope for changing our lives. In my case, right now, it is happening one blog post at a time.


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