Well, my first exciting news is that my mom appears to be following my brother’s lead. She called me this week to let me know the latest on how my dad is haunting her (this week’s episode includes text messages sent from their old, unused cell phone to Waylon and sensing him getting out of bed while she was laying there) and then casually dropped that she hadn’t drank for a week. Wow!! I can’t even say how glad (relieved!) I am. She talked about how she’s been sleeping better since she stopped and we had a conversation about how alcohol really messes up your brainwaves for sleep and stuff. It was so great to talk to her on the phone knowing she was totally sober and would remember the conversation!
The Physical: I started back into the gym yesterday. After the head cold of last week and after my therapy session on Friday, I just felt ready. I found a cool app for the family iPod Touch for C25K (Couch to 5K) training and it worked really well. If I can make it down there on my off-training days for cross-training, I will, but for now, my primary commitment is to getting through the C25K program and moving on to the 10K training. May isn’t that far away, and remember I registered for that 10K on Cinco de Mayo!
I’m blogging more about the fitness stuff at SparkPeople. That blog can be added to an RSS feed if you’re interested: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_rss.asp?id=MJ_VANSTEENBERG I’m also working on becoming more active in the forums. I’ve joined a few teams – two of them local – in hopes of building new relationships to help me integrate new habits. It’s inspiring to me that the more I dig, the more I find women who’ve been in very similar points in their lives and who really worked it through.
The Mental: My second session with Jami (my therapist) went very well. We started out talking about what stresses me out about school. I told her about the conversation I had with Deb this week about putting off the Counseling program – I’m not sure if I shared that with everyone, so I’ll share it here. I decided to postpone the Counseling degree for at least a year while I get established in Portland with a job and a better living situation and while I work through the stuff I’ve been writing to you all about. The Counseling program will be much more demanding than my current program and as you all know, I’m struggling to find the time to get things set straight in my life. That would only be worse if I went straight from the PACE program into Counseling.
We also talked about Jeff and being bisexual. I’ve told her I really want to separate the two issues. When I left Jeff before, I hid behind wanting to explore my sexuality. The truth is, that has very little to do with why my marriage isn’t working. She agreed and pointed out some really useful things while asking me about what was going on with Jeff. I brought up the subject of when to say something, noting how excruciating it was the last time, when I let him know a few months in advance of leaving and then felt like an asshole the rest of the time because he kept doing nice (albeit sometimes creepy) things. She talked about how this is a way that Jeff manipulates people and I really opened my eyes to it. I have always known that he does this with other people – subtly directs the conversation to elicit sympathy and “aw, cute puppy” responses – but I thought I was immune. We agreed that it’s likely not really a conscious thing. His mom used to do the same thing and I think it’s just what he’s learned.
I spoke for the first time about how I’ve come to sometimes loathe it when he’s talking to me and then how I immediately start to feel guilty about the loathing – I asked how a relationship can possibly be salvaged when one side has lost that much respect. So anyhow, we left the question of when to say something on the point of, I wouldn’t feel honest springing it on him at the last minute, but I’m also not 100% clear at this point. When I am, I will let him know and then set up some boundaries around the manipulation. She points out my guilt in my relationship a lot, and I’m beginning to see how it really impacts my decision-making. This is something I need to work through. There’s a balance between taking ownership of your emotions and actions and taking ownership of everyone else’s in addition, and I think I tipped it a long time ago.
On the sexuality issue, we talked a bit about how I came to realize it, the beginning of my relationship with L and also the relationships I had while growing up that should have clued me in, if I hadn’t been so scared. We talked about what it was like to have those experiences in a small town where being gay was a huge issue, particularly in the dawning of HIV/AIDS and how I’ve been sort of suspended in exploring it since I left Tempe. We talked about polyamory and how it might be an option in a stronger marriage, but not in my current relationship. Unfortunately, it’s going to have to remain in the state of only being explored in therapy for now because even if Jeff and I split in June, I’m not entering into any new relationships for awhile after that. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to get married again.
Oh! And totally still not drinking. I have been having dreams about drinking, which is new and strange. Obviously it’s straining my psyche, or I wouldn’t be dreaming about it. I asked the fam last night what they’d noticed since I stopped. The answer from all three was, “Your mood is a lot more stable.” Jeff added that I’m spending more time alone in the bedroom (of course, it has a lot to do with needing more time alone in the bedroom since I no longer have the numbing effects of alcohol to help me deal with irritation, stress and guilt). Nina said, “You’re still the mom that I love very much.” I’ve noticed a lot less depression, but the anxiety is still hanging around. I need to talk about this with Jami. I’d like to continue to be medication-free, but I need to find some better ways to deal with feeling like I’m not doing things “right” or on time. Maybe regular sitting practice will help with this.
The Spiritual: I found a new meditation timer that I can put on the iPod. This makes me a bit more mobile about where and when I can meditate, so I don’t have to have “a spot” nor be tied to a particular time. That’s good as I’m dealing with a meager two available rooms in this apartment and the first room is frequently occupied. So I tested it last night and it was fabulous. I’m back in business with sitting practice! I also found a really cool sleep meditation app. I used it last night and in addition to doing a great relaxation, it has some very cool affirmations towards the end, when my mind is super receptive. I didn’t fall asleep while listening to it last night, but I can definitely see how the app will help.
And the review…
- I will begin training with the Couch to 10K podcast for May’s 10K. CHECK
- I will stay sober. CHECK
- I will attend one therapy session each week. CHECK
- I will update my Circle of Support once a week. CHECK
- I will set up a schedule to avoid procrastination with my classes. CHECK
- I will sit for at least 5 minutes each day, according to the practice outlined in Evolutionary Witchcraft. CHECK
Pretty good week.