About Me

My photo
I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Monday, October 22, 2007

'Lost' in Uncharted Territory: I have no compass. And I have no map. Uncertainty can be a guiding light.

Growing up in just about any way at all means journeys out of your comfort zone are UNAVOIDABLE.
Even though this new stuff is GOOD, it can STILL feel VERY scary when embarked upon, and uncertain. Terrifying, as a matter of fact. For some anyhow.

After a lifetime of drama and fear, and survival skills, feeling comfortable can feel like something is missing.
Not feeling constantly preoccupied can feel like something is 'wrong'.
Also when really SERIOUSLY reevaluating long held beliefs WITH ALL SINCERITY, it can completely 'Rock your World'. Realizations can be VERY far from comfortable. People think insights will be 'comforting', or 'cozy'. Not so. Some can be terrifying. They challenge EVERYTHING. It can seem like there is NOTHING to hold onto. Sometimes, because, for the time being anyhow, there ISN'T. (..Oh ye of little faith.)

So I'm just saying. Feeling 'lost' or without any reference to hold on to, is not comfortable as such, but I see it as being very healthy. Meaning you are in a process of reevaluation.
BUT LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN LIFE, you need to use a little common sense with this. Do this in moderation. Don't go 'full tilt' if you can't hack it. If its all getting a bit much, go do something very simple and reassuring, like go to a meeting and coffee after. Have a nap or go see a nice movie. You know, unchallenging stuff. Gym. Whatever.

For a LOT of us, the UNKNOWN and UNCHARTED world is the world of 'Happy joyous and free'.
The world of 'comfortable in my own skin'.
The world of 'There are no 'Big Deals'.
The world of TRUST.
The world of 'I feel safe'.
The world of 'I feel looked after'.

Not everybody. But a LOT. Especially those with abusive pasts.
Or those who live in TERROR of rejection.
Or those with CHRONIC DEPENDENDENCE upon external validation in the form of a relationship. (Most women seem to think their lives are a travesty of inconsequence if they are not in the role of wife/girlfriend) Jeez. Almost as mad as when a guy thinks he is a complete waste of space unless he is a ? 'sufficient' ? Breadwinner.
We are all as bad as each other really. We are ALL riddled with crazy irrationalities. What separates the men from the boys, is not whether we HAVE them, its to what extent we allow our lives to be DOMINATED by them. That all. So don't go thinking you are some kind of freak loser because you have spotted an irrationality. Welcome to the human condition!! It is CHOCK full of paradoxes and contradictions. Sure beats a Rubik cube any day for its brain teasing capacities!

Like Bono says in Zooropa
And I have no compass.
And I have no map.
And I have no reasons.
No reasons to get back.

And I have no religion.
And I don't know what's what.
And I don't know the limit.
The limit of what we've got.

Don't worry baby. It'll be alright.
You got the right shoes.
To get you through the night.
It's cold outside. But brightly lit.
Skip the subway.
Let's go to the overground.
Get your head out of the mud baby.
Put flowers in the mud baby.

No particular place names.
No particular song.
I've been hiding.
What am I hiding from?

Don't worry baby. It's gonna be alright.
Uncertainty can be a guiding light.
I hear voices. Ridiculous voices.
In the slipstream.
Let's go. Let's go overground.
Take your head out of the mud baby.

She's gonna dream up the world she wants to live in.
She's gonna dream out loud.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bed Bug Infestation: Don't sit down on trains Between Aldgate East and Stratford

And other East End trains in that vicinity. Why? Because you are at risk of picking up a bed bug off the seat.
The bugs are about the size of an apple pip.
And the amount of infestation I London has shot up, but is much higher in those areas than other parts of London.
Getting rid of them is a total pain in the a*se. You have to chuck out mattresses, bedding etc. Its expensive!

Anyway. Just thought I'd share that with you!
I heard a pesticide guy who deals a LOT with bedbugs on LBC Radio recently saying he would NOT risk sitting on a London transport seat between those two stations. Plus loads of horror stories about the piles of bedbugs he has come across along the way..
On that cheery ! note! I will bid you all a deliriously happy Monday while I head of to (yes you've guessed it) the gym. Then Study!!

Oh and by the way I LOVE !!! this new gadget. (Super Trackstick GPS Tracking System) Pointless for someone like me as I am not scaling some obscure mountain at great personal risk, but I just LOVE Google earth, and quite like the idea of looking at a PROPER map and seeing a little journey trail of all the little places I go to. Pointless but FUN. Whatever..
I am VERY tempted to get one. We shall see.. I have a bunch of other stuff to sort out. So I'l do that first.
See y'all..

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New regular Friday meeting

I am going to start going regularly to a Friday meeting in town, as I cant make the Thursday one during term times. So if you want to find me, that's where I'll be. There is coffee after as there is a ton of places nearby. If you're not sure which one I mean email me and I'll send you the address. Ms J's Sponsee, (Ms V) already goes there.
Yeah and I MIGHT be able to make Ms L's Sponsee (Ms C's) Saturday one too, but I dont think I can make that one a regular. We shall see.

Back to sorting out my new computer stuff... !

Hidden Motives: When Genuine DESPAIR is also a form of ATTACK

I just LOVE this book. They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James
Us ladies are VERY good at being ANGRY in more 'covert' ways. We don't want to be seen throwing punches, or yelling at people in the street, so we employ SNEAKY ways of expressing HOSTILTY.
We are SO good, we don't even know OURSELVES that we are being angry after a while..
(Yeah I know some women are more dis-inhibited with 'out-and-out' anger, but this is for the ones that sneak anger in the back door. So to speak.)
Anyway here's the quote:

"Our despair is GENUINE
But is is ALSO a means of expressing HOSTILITY

ANGERED by the failure of others TO NUTURE US

We use MOODS and threats, to 'GET BACK' and ''teach a lesson'
By exaggerating our plight, and acting in a miserable fashion
And place ADDED BURDENS on others.
Cold and stubborn silences are PUNITIVE BLACKMAIL, a THREAT of trouble to come."
P206 They F*** you up by Oliver James.

I kind of knew moods were a way of being angry, but I think he has captured this trait REALLY well in this passage.
Particularly the despair and the nurture part.
I tend to view despair as something that hurts the owner more than anything. And if I am experiencing despair, I am too self absorbed to see the impact it is having on others. Even if the mood is not 'acted out' as such.
I LOVE this passage. Good old Oliver. Perhaps men have a better view of the way us women are covertly angry. Who knows. But I LOVE this observation.
I just LOVE finding hidden anger and attack.
See I don't do the more obvious moods or sulks as such. Nothing that you would notice externally anyway. I'm from the more repressed end of the spectrum. But I hadn't seen the way the feeling of despair could have a sneaky more unconscious agenda to punish, that's all.
Yeah I know some women do very OVERT moods and sulks. Door slamming. Plate throwing. Obvious tantrums and what have you. Those are EASY to spot. It is the SUBTLE stuff that sneaks in under the radar that bugs me. So there you go.

So just for the sake of clarity. If we were all really good at EGO PUNCTURING HONESTY.
Instead of 'doing' despair in this way.
We could say:
"Yes right now, it WOULD be true to say I am feeling some despair.
But in addition to that, I can see there is (quite a strong) temptation to use that mood as a way of punishing you. Classic GUILT TRIP material really..
You see the truth is, that I AM angered by (what **I** see) as your FAILURE to NUTURE me.
But rather than say that OUT LOUD, (because lets face it, it sounds a bit naff and petulant.)
Its 'easier' (Ha!..NOT!) to flail about, feeling sorry for myself, and wallow in a sense of hopelessness, (because I KNOW that will make you feel BAD) rather than deal with this problem face on. Or GOD FORBID
ACTUALLY HAVE THE GUTS TO ASK FOR THE THING (whatever it is) THAT I THINK (?) I NEED RIGHT NOW, that you APPEAR to not be giving me.
You know WHY I don't ask?

Well firstly, because I probably don't even know MYSELF what it is!!.
Why? Because I am FAR better at thinking about what I DON'T want instead of what I DO want.
When I'm in one of these moods, I'm more interested in PUNISHING you, than ACTUALLY SORTING OUT MY PROBLEM.

And secondly, because I HATE thinking of myself as NEEDY. Which is what I essentially AM, when I'm in one of these moods. Its quite a VULNERABLE place, and I don't like being VULNERABLE and EXPOSED like this. Its too ego puncturing!

Thirdly. Actually SEEING what I DO require to feel 'nurtured' is VERY, VERY ego puncturing. It makes me see my own HUMANITY. And I don't want to be human.
I want to be INVULNERABLE!
To rise above everything!
To feel FINE all the time! (ie not FEEL vulnerable EVER again.)
And even WORSE. Let YOU see me being VULNERABLE. Ouch!
These messy, squishy emotions are EMBARRASING to my ego, and reduce me (in my UNFORGIVING eyes) to the level of a pathetic blob. Basically I HATE admitting my weaknesses and BASIC HUMANITY. Even to myself. Yeah the alcoholic ego does NOT like that ONE BIT!

So that's why I throw a mood. And do the 'despair' trip.
Keeps me in the PROBLEM, not the SOLUTION.
Which I can see is not really ! helping. To say the least.
So yeah, there is some genuine despair going on, and I'm not ashamed of that.
But this time I am NOT going to use it as a CLUB to BEAT you over the head with. (Which you will be glad to hear!).
I will EVEN, go so far, as to actually sit down and think about EXACTLY what version of 'nurturing' I had the GALL to harbor an EXPECTATION of receiving.
I might very well POLITIELY ASK YOU for that thing.
ONLY THIS TIME, I will NOT harbor a GRUDGE or an EXPECTATION that you are BOUND to oblige me in this request.
Hey I am not running the show here.
I am not the 'manager'.
This is a two way street, and I can ask, but that DOESN'T guarantee that I will 'get'.
But at LEAST I will have the GUTS to ask.
Instead of simply ALLOWING the "All is lost' and 'What's the point?' THINKING, and the feelings of despair and overwhelm that INEVITABLY accompany that.
Even if ASPECTS of those despairing feelings are genuine.

Im not saying you SHOULD say this, but I just thought it would be fun to articulate a more ego puncturing admission of what is going on, behind the scenes, so to speak, that Oliver James describes in that passage.
I like YANKING the dodgy thought processes into the light, for scrutiny.
The 'cure' for everything is HONESTY. Well that's what I think, so a bit of brutal truth-telling seems to pave the way for change. Well that's what I find. The truth seems to make the disease shrink back into the cracks in the ether from whence it came. Seems to banish shadows. Honesty is like a flashlight. I call it 'cleaning under the cooker'. Bleh!! No one LIKES cleaning under the cooker! Have you SEEN what's under there? Its GROSS!
But if you do get stuck in and face the ! Yukky ! Stuff down there, a burden is lifted, and we feel better.

Phew! Why cant I write SHORTER posts??
See then I wouldn't have so many half finished ones!!
Hey have a FABULOUS Thursday y'all..

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sexually transmitted CANCER

Yeah the HPV VIRUS responsible for cervical CANCER is INFECTIOUS.
Scary huh?
What Are the Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer? By the American Cancer Society
"Recent studies show that condoms ("rubbers"), while they do provide some protection, do not completely protect against HPV. This is because HPV can be passed from person to person by skin-to-skin contact with ANY HPV-infected area of the body, such as skin of the genital or a*al area not covered by the condom. The absence of visible warts cannot be used to decide whether caution is needed, because HPV can be passed to another person even when there are NO visible warts or other symptoms."

Bleh! I know. Yik! factor 10!
There is a vaccine that you MIGHT be able to get free from your doctor if you ask politely. Otherwise its 500 quid or so to get it done privately.
The good news is that the vaccine works for most of the viruses. Its pretty effective.
So if you are planning of having lots of sexual partners, you should consider vaccination. Cervical cancer tends not to show up in young women. You see it more in age 40's or so. But when it DOES show up, it kills quite a few women. The more partners you have, the greater risk you are at.
Lovely eh? As if the sexual health minefield wasn't bad enough..
Never mind. I suppose we should be cheering from the rooftops that they have discovered such an effective vaccination against cancer. That's a neat trick. Even if I say so myself.
There's a TON of stuff on cervical cancer and mortality rates on the internet if you REALLY want to find out about it.
But if you are a HYPOCHONDRIAC, save yourself the anxiety. Easier just to fork out the 450 quid and be done with it. Then you have no need to worry..

Just thought I would mention, in case you hadn't seen this on the news..
See y'all..

For your reference..
Cervical cancer vaccine for girls aged 12 on Times online.
Vaccination (done privately) for 450 quid, if you feel the urge..

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

They F*** You Up by Oliver James

They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James
I saw this the other day and bought it. It's a good un.
I must admit, I like Oliver James. I like Philip Hodson too. Whatever. This is a good book.

If you had dodgy parents, you MUST read it. It doesn't change anything as such, but it maps out some menta and emotional responses to abusive or negligent situations. Gives you a rough guide as to what you are up against. Without self awareness, you really are sc*ewed.
Awareness is the way out. So inform yourself as to how you are habitually getting in the way of your own sanity, and it will be a DARN site easier to act differently.
I don't see this as an 'answer' as such, just a useful roadmap, that informs me which is the best road to take. It is a good observation of the human condition. Read, and learn.
Knowledge is power. It is no substitute for a spiritual life, or of 'constant thought of others', but in order to behave well, it IS necessary to INFORM ourselves. Not in order to feel sorry for ourselves, but to understand ourselves better, with the aim of avoiding some of the more predictable booby traps. Education is a good thing. Anything that shows us our demons is a good thing. We need to be able to see them in order to overcome them. We cannot fight what we cannot see.

Right I better be off. Have a nice Tuesday!