Posted on

Co-dependency

Ahhh…..

What a relief yesterday ended up being. In my crabby post yesterday, I spent a good deal of time complaining about helpless people. I actually had a really great, and enlightening day yesterday. I talk every once in a while about things a therapist has said to me. It is no secret I spent many years in therapy. I am not ashamed. Should I be? I don’t think so. Yesterday was a codependency focused day for me, and I have a lot of insight to share today from it. Bear with me if this gets a little drawn out. I have battled codependency my whole adult life, and I assume most of childhood, although I didn’t recognize it. I tried therapy a few times, but they just gave me meds, some of which made it way worse. No one ever called it codependency, until much later. It was called bi-polar disorder. It started when I was 19. One day I woke up, realized that I had had a hard life, and that I had never once cried about it, and man did that open a floodgate. It took years to get that floodgate closed, but I finally did, with the help of two very special therapists, and Jesus. Oh, yeah, and getting off the tri-cyclic birth control. I would like to take a minute to say something VERY IMPORTANT HERE.  If you are on a tri-cyclic birth control pill, and have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, consider stopping them right away. Most likely that is what is causing your problems. It took me forever to figure it out. I started on a very popular birth control pill when I was 19. I have easy cycles, never a problem, and other than realizing I had bi-polar disorder, nothing significant happened. So, a few years back, I stopped taking birth control, and ALL of the symptoms of bi-polar disorder went away. I mentioned this to a friend, and she made the comment that she noticed she didnt need her bi-polar meds any more either, but hadn’t put it together with stopping birth control pills, but that after thinking about it they directly coincided. Here is my thought on the matter. Bi-polar disorder is when you cycle through abnormally strong emotions really fast. One week, manic happy and productive, one week maybe just blahs, and one week severe depression. A therapist explained to me that people have daily “weather”. Normal weather patterns change a little from day to day, but they never go from blizzard to monsoon. Bi-polar emotions go from blizzard to monsoon in moments flat. I think, and I am not a doc or a research scientist, but here is the logic for me. Tri-cyclic pills are three different hormone levels, then a hormone free week. Lets look at the pregnant lady for a classic example of what messing with hormones will do for a persons emotions. I am guessing, that as the hormone levels change each week, they affect our moods drastically, and mimic bi-polar disorder. If anyone out there is a research scientist, I would love to see this study done. So much bi-polar in the world would likely be solved if not for the hormonal birth control pills. Or, at least, if people were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, they could try removing the hormones before just accepting that they are mentally unhealthy and spending a life in therapy trying to get control of something that could be avoided altogether, or spending years taking anti-depressants and mood stabilizers to offset the effects of the birth control? So, how does this affect my post on co-dependency? Well, in a bi-polar cycle, you are not thinking healthy things, and that just made my co-dependent behaviors that much worse. Not only was I co-dependent, I was emotionally crippled.

So, emotionally crippled, and the young adult emerging from a broken nest, I started my journey. Oh dear. What comes next is twenty very ugly years of me fighting and fighting to regain a sense of the self I lost to that tattered young soul. I did my rebelling and experimenting, I may as well be real about it. I am not ashamed of what I have done in my life. Some of it, I might do differently, given the chance, but I am not ashamed of it. I stumbled through my teens and at a young twenty something, I decided I wanted to be a single mom. Deep in my heart, I knew it was wrong, and I had no idea what was driving this desire. I took it up with the two women I admired the most, and both got excited and said “if anyone can do it, you can”. I went home baffled. I remember thinking “what? No one thinks this is a bad idea? ” I swear I was dying for someone to tell me what a bad idea it was, but nobody did. I went home, got rid of the very great boyfriend I had, and went on a search for the biggest loser I could find, hoping to get a baby, and that the man would leave before it was born (ridiculous, I know, but I was young, dumb, and emotionally compromised). Just to be fair, I did tell the man I wanted a baby, we made the decision to try together, and I did try to make it work with him. As an adult, with a nearly grown child, I understand all of this better now, but it was not till years later when I made a comment to my very “mature” Christian mentor, that I didnt know why I chose to be a singe parent, and he looked at me in utter confusion and said “you don’t?” “I do”. He then proceeded to tell me to look at how the men in my life had treated me, and how, no wonder I would not want one in my child’s life. I have never been the type of person to say that because one or two men hurt me, they are all bad, but clearly my subconscious thought that somewhere, and how incredibly intuitive of my mentor? Understand quickly, that I have been sexually offended by several men in my life, as a child, before I ever even knew what sex was. Again, not my fault, and I am not ashamed of what others did to me that I could not control. People tend to get all sorry for me when I tell them what happened in my childhood. Please don’t. I don’t feel sorry for me. Every single thing that happened was a lesson to turn me into someone who can do wonderful work for God. Everything happens for a reason, and I would not be this girl that I respect and admire today if not for my hardships, and we ALL have hardships. I think yours were as hard as you think mine were. It was ultimately the therapy for my sons special needs that got me where I needed to be. And on that note, you can learn all the healthy behaviors you need to deal with any human being at all, if you just learn what a special needs child requires. Everything about raising a special needs child requires that you look at them as an individual, and treat the behaviors accordingly. If every person in this world was treated the way I was taught to treat special needs kids, holy cow, the world would be an unimaginably healthy and joyful, validated place. The skills transfer to every human beings basic rights. We dont honor the typical human beings rights, but with a special needs child, it is the ONLY way to make progress, and you learn about meeting basic rights. ALL of my relationships have improved since I learned how to validate, give choices, hand over some control of the situation, choose important battles, not ones that don’t matter. Raising an Aspergers kid is where it is at if you want to learn how to relate to people in a way that is healthy for all involved. The skills you learn taking care of special needs kids will last you a lifetime.

So, back to the topic at hand. Co-dependency. Do you know what it is? I thought I did, and there was no way that was me, I was so independent, I couldn’t be co-dependent.  HA! What a fool I was for thinking I knew something. Oh, I knew what co-dependency was alright, I was living a life full of it, but I had no idea that that was what co-dependency actually was. Co-dependency is a deep and intricate “disorder”. Most people don’t even recognize it till a therapist tells them to get the book “Codependent No More”, by Melody Beatty. I know many co-dependents whose lives have been changed by that book. I keep a copy on my shelf too. You open that book, thinking “what can this book possibly offer me?”, and then it changes your life.  http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025

For simplicity sake, here is the Wikipedia definition of co-dependency. It is a good way to sum up the basics for those who are unfamiliar with the disease. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency

All this background is getting me somewhere, I promise.  So, I spent years behaving like a classic co-dependant. I could not for the life of me figure out why people wouldn’t treat me the way I treated them. I was offended when I was told I was controlling people, but the book put it in a perspective that made me understand what that meant. I leaned about “shoulding all over” myself and others because of co-dependency. I learned that taking care of others is NOT the best way to get ones OWN needs met, and I started trying to take care of myself instead of taking care of everyone else. I had to draw some serious lines in the sand, and it felt cold and callous, but also, so liberating to learn how to put myself first for once. What? I am allowed to meet MY OWN needs? That is weird. I spent years and years in therapy, learning healthy patterns and behaviors, crying about how wronged I have been, just feeling defeated, not good enough, a huge failure, but the answer was bi-polar, and meds, which never helped enough to make life feel good. Once I was given a the above book as an assignment for therapy, it all started to change. I put up limits on how much people could ask of me, I started finding little ways to meet my needs first, and I learned how to say NO to people, which was the hardest part and I still struggle with it from time to time, and in those instances, co-dependency rears its ugly head in just a small way, in my life. I am so aware of it now, that I take control and stop the behavior as soon as I recognize it, but I made it through all of yesterday, before I realized that there were a trickle or two of co-dependency in my behavior, leading me to feel those very same feelings I had so long ago when I did not recognize the behaviors.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s never full blown co-dependency ever any more, just little tiny things that build up when I forget to say no to them, and yes to my needs. Yesterday was all about that for me. If you read yesterdays blog, you know I spent a good chunk of my morning arguing with a very clearly unhealthy co-dependent in my life. I was so angry I was shaking, and told her so, but it just kept going, on and on and on, till I couldn’t take it any more. I spent hours trying to convince her that a therapist could help her with the codependency and she should get help, all the while, letting this girls terrible attitude have a profound effect on my cause she wouldn’t do what I kept telling her was right (if you are at all familiar with co-dependency, you are now rolling on the floor in laughter at the irony of that situation). Still didn’t recognize my co-dependent behaviors of the day, but it continues. My best friend in the world is consumed by her tragedies right now, and I get that. When I try to offer a solution, or advice, I get nothing but “i am not ready to start the healing process yet”. I think that is so unfair. She called me the other day, and I was bawling my eyes out. She didn’t even notice, and proceeded to talk about how emotional she was, yet, she is not ready to change anything, just wants me to carry the burden till she is ready, still, is completely unaware of me. These one sided relationships are VERY co-dependent, and I was feeling pretty angry and hurt. She wanted to stop and visit, but I said NO. Oh, here it is, the magic word that saves me from myself. No. such a simple word, but for some, so hard to learn. I have now said NO, to the co-dependent trying to control me,  and to the person I feel is taking a little advantage of me. I have one or two more big issues to face in my co-dependent battle day. I have been on a spay/neuter task force commitee for years. I love it. I love working with the surgered dogs. I am good with the sick, the needy, the scared, and a natural leader at heart, so it is a good position for me, however, I imagine due to a lot of this co-dependency, I tend to get quite insubordinate when my morals are challenged, and I know it is something I have to work on, meanwhile, its still true. Well, the last several events, I have been feeling quite insubordinate, and as though a lot of responsibility and blame that are not my weights to carry, are landing on my shoulders. It has been a huge stressor, because I really love doing it, but it was clearly taking a huge toll on me, by the way my demeanor went all bi-polar every time it came up. I am talking happy to hurricane in seconds flat. That is a great, big, red warning flag for me, when something causes my now under control emotions to do that. Yesterday, while I was taking back my sanity, I said NO to them too. Oh, that one felt so good! I have been bearing that pressure for far too long now, and what a relief it was to say, “I just cannot do what you are asking of me any more”. I spent my entire day lecturing a close relative about being co-dependent, and at the end of the day, I looked back and realize that I spent the entire day using tools out of my bag of healed co-dependency tricks. I may have fought that battle and won, but every once in a while, the behaviors pop up and get me when I am not watching  for them. I spent my day trying to get some peace and renewal, from taking care of everyone else the last two weeks, and at the end of it all, I look back and think, man, I “should have” recognized this all much sooner this time. Oh well, I recognized it and moved forward. I apologized for being so callous and cold, explained where I was coming from, said I still felt the same way but I could have said it much nicer. I didn’t take it back, just apologized for my method of delivery. I was angry and bitter at what felt like, and still does feel like, several very one sided relationships in my life. The difference today, is that I have a choice between letting those one sided relationships make me feel terrible, or balancing out how much time I spend doing for others compared to doing for me, and how much time I spend doing for others who never notice it. Its all about the choices I make. Not how they treat me, how I choose to be treated. All I have to do is simply choose to treat me better and put less priority on others well being, and I will be ok. I have been trying to put me first, for some time now, and if you follow in the posts, you know that, but always, someone “needs” something from me, and my needs get put off till tomorrow, and tomorrow, there is always something, and my needs just keep getting pushed back further and further, till I have a day like yesterday, where I lock myself in the house and refuse to talk to anyone. I have to be ok with telling someone that I cant listen to her cry today, or that I am happy to listen and understand, but I need a turn to cry too.  There are lots of therapists in this valley. They get paid to do what I do as a co-dependent, and quite frankly, its ok for me to turn folks away or offer a good therapists number if I cant carry their burden that day. Oh so hard to remember that I can say no to the people I love, and that they will still love me, and they will enjoy me more if I take the time to keep me healthy. Learning to say no when someone says they need me has been incredibly difficult, but I am getting it. Yesterady, I said no in a big way to the things that were sapping the energy from me and wearing me down. It was refreshing and uplifting, and I even found time to focus on my Bible study.

A little while back, I started a womens Bible study group on facebook. The first study we chose was on faith. Funny, cause I have strong, very strong, faith. This last couple months though, my faith has been weak. I know He is here with me, but I feel disspaointed in the lack of assitance He is offering me. I had my little tantrum, but then, as I was taking back my peace, I realized in one very brightly lit moment, that I knew I wold be attacked when I started the Bible study, I knew my faith was struggling, but that it would be ok, but it never, ever occurred to me till yesterday, when I finally could see clearly again, that my faith was being attacked because I started a womens Bible study on FAITH of all things. That one made me laugh pretty hard too. I apologized to my good Father, for being such a spoiled little brat, and asked Him to protect my faith while I lead these women through the study. At the end of the day, I looked back, realized I had broken the co-dependent patterns I hadn’t even realized that I was allowing again, figured out why I was having issues with God, and went to bed peaceful, uplifted, hopeful, and spiritually healthy again. Oh what a day it was. Today, I am armed with a new perspective, and I am looking forward to what the day might bring. I am looking forward to continued healing and growth. I wish you all many blessings on your journey. Until next time my friends…

Posted on

“shoulding all over ourselves”

Oh my goodness folks! I have to say, while the decluttering feels great, oh man, it’s a ton of chaos, and it is wearing on me. I am doing much better this morning, now that the guys have gone off to school and work and I can get some stuff done, but dang, it was a rough weekend! The rooms I have done are great. It feels so nice to cook and live in the kitchen and dining rooms, and this office is just fabulous. So peaceful. Unfortunately, the rest of the house is a mess from the “remodeling” and well, dang! I am short on patience, understanding, compassion. All of the qualities I love so much about myself have flown out the window this week. I have no patience for folks who have drama they can change, who sit around whining about it. I call them the “can’t/won’t/but” people, and I am dealing with one and her drama in a big way today. I have been mean, blunt, callous, and cold. I have told said person that I am over the whining and to do something about it or quit crying about it, and well, just a complete lack of empathy. Ugh! I am operating on a very short fuse. I am cheerful and happy putting away the clutter, sorting through, and filling trash bags and “get rid of” boxes. I have filled so many huge garbage bags, and so may boxes of stuff. Its so satisfying watching them go out the door, exhausting trying to put back the keepers, and quite frankly, I feel as though I am growing slightly neurotic about the areas I have cleaned. I am desperate to keep them clean till the whole house is done, but I feel like I gotta follow folks around with a washcloth and a dustpan. That also adds to my lack of patience. Also, it feels like as soon as I get one thing fixed up, I found two more broken or messy spots…ugh! What a challenge this is turning out to be. I guess I expected it to be so, but now I am in the thick of it, and I was right, its a challenge. I keep thinking, it is a means to an end, and it will all be worth it, but then I reconsider the conversation I just had, and I think..Is it? Is it worth being this cold, mean, blunt, short fused, impatient and intolerant person for? Granted, last week was a mess, and I haven’t taken my HSP down time in two weeks, and have been surrounded by extra clutter, and people, the whole time. No wonder I am so mean today! Oh the quiet has been so nice today. No tv on, not even music, and I love music. Things are going nicely into places and homes where they belong, and I feel as though it can be a very positive, productive week, but by no means is it devoid of stressors. I am in this place, where I feel like I manage to listen to everyones drama, all day long. Lots of it can be changed, and they just blatantly refuse to do so. That is so incredibly frustrating for me….I have drama too. Some I can change, some I can’t, but I don’t play the blame game, and I am sick of all the can’ts and won’ts I keep hearing. I am sorry this post is so negative, I just want to tell them all, if its something you can change, change it or quit whining about it.  Why can’t people see that they spend so much time whining about a situation, that by the time they look back, enough time has passed they coulda changed it? I am a grab it by the horns and look that bull square in the eyes kinda gal. If I can change it, I do. If not, I have to accept it and move one, but I get nowhere whining about the things other people do that I cannot control or change. I want to write about something a therapist taught me once. She called it “shoulding all over yourself” and it was clever. She talked about all the ways we “should all over” ourselves and others, and how unhappy that makes us. It is a concept that changed my life. She says…you think that guy “should have” used his blinker cause that is what YOU would have done. How do you know his wife isn’t in labor or ill? She says…you spend how much time thinking about things you “should have done” or “should be doing”. She made it clear that when we should all over ourselves we are just carrying anguish for things that are past, and that we can decide to change them, or quit beating ourselves up about it. As for shoulding all over others, it just gives us something to be crabby about that we cannot control…that guy should, that lady should…you get the point. Who made you the authority on what people “should” be doing with their lives, right. The minute I became aware of my “shoulding” patterns, I realized that I expected everyone to behave in a way that “I” thought was acceptable. How incredibly rude and self righteous, but wow…we all do it. Just watch yourself. How many times today have you thought that someone “should” have done something differently? Was it really even any of your business? Did it steal five minutes of your happiness? I am telling you, I found great joy in letting other people do as they will, without expectation. Without “shoulding all over” them or myself. I guess I am doing a little of that today. I “should” be nicer. I “should” be more compassionate. I “should” have more patience and tolerance. Hmmm…. guess I better check myself. Realistically, I am overwhelmed, tired, exhausted really, and surrounded by choas that slowly get whittled away a little bit each day. Maybe what I “should” do is give myself a break. So, I am thinking about the finer things in life today…like “shoulding all over” myself, and others. Ugh! I hope that as I move forward on this house, some of these less than compassionate thoughts will go away, meanwhile…I can only pray the God protects me from myself and helps to bring patience and peace. I hope you all are well. Till next time…many blessings my friends!

Posted on

The kitchen

Oh good Heavens. The kitchen is TOUGH. It’s hard to even take the things out of the kitchen for some reason. Not sure why I am having so much more trouble on the kitchen than anywhere else I have been, but dang, it’s like pulling teeth, trying to stay focused in that room. I was thinking I should have taken before and after pics for you guys, but oh well! I spent a little time lamenting yesterday, on the irony that my house has some pretty big rooms in it. Particularly the bedrooms and living room. Unfortunately, the rooms I use most, the office, dining, and kitchen, are all tiny, and have the most stuff. I have faith that it will all fit because I have thrown away A LOT of stuff. Know anyone that needs a George Foreman grill? I joke, of course. I mean, I am just not willing to keep it in a stack by my door while I wait for it to be claimed…off to the thrift store, where it can do some good for someone else. The back end of my little SUV is quickly filling up with stuff for donation, and it is so satisfying when I take a box to the car to be forgotten till the next time I pass Goodwill. It felt good to sit in my beautiful, clutter free, dining room, to have dinner with my boys last night…Oh we all loved the nice clean room so much! The kitchen, I hope, will be done today. I have a few piles I need to sort through, things like storage containers I am no longer using for the junk they were holding, but don’t want to get rid of them till the whole house is done, in case I need to downsize something into a different container or something. Man, when this house is done, I am gonna give someone a virtual organization store. I have a TON of empty storage containers now, and I can only anticipate I will have more as I go. I LOVE empty. I am excited. Every day, every project, leaves me with a whole new set of inspiring thoughts. Because this house was already quite stuffed when I moved in, I am finding all kinds of cool things that I didn’t even know I had. Things I have never even seen before. I found an antique apple corer/peeler in a silverware drawer, buried at the bottom, under the things I use frequently. I had to ask my husband what it was, and if we could store it with the antiques instead of in the kitchen…but it was cool. I also found an electric knife that was made some time before 1962, if I had to guess… it was that telling green and cream color from the good ole days. I am afraid to plug it in. The male plug was even made way differently than they are now, also very neat, and low and behold, I DO have a friend who wants THAT, of all things. So, I have found some really great and useful things, and some very nostalgic things, and well, some crap I just cant believe is still kicking around here from the sixties or later. I wasn’t here (on Earth) in the sixties, just so we are clear. It’s not that I mind getting old, I just am not yet. This stuff had to belong to my hubby’s grandmother. It would be neat to get the story behind some of it. Out of curiosity, I even checked to see if the knife has any worth, and I cannot find one, at all…so maybe it does. Too late now, I gave it away already….don’t really care that much, just want my house clean.

Nope, good ole ETSY. I found one and it looks like it’s worth about twenty bucks. Glad I gave it away. Anyway, this project has been so inspiring. I have more ambition for this declutter project than I ever imagined I would have, and dang if it is not going great. I am nearly halfway done, and still full steam, with a few hang-ups in the kitchen. I have managed to keep the rooms that are done, clutter free in the process of doing other rooms, and I just cannot wait till its done! I feel pretty manic, except that I have felt this way more and more intensely as I get further through the house, and so far no crash or burn stage. Oh I hope I can continue to sustain this very routine thing I have going on now. It’s great to sleep at night, and work during the day. It has been so many years, I can barely remember that time before I had a son with three sleep disorders and slept like a normal person. I did at one point in my life, but my child changed all that, and I have not had a normal sleep schedule forever, but I do again, and that feels SO GOOD! This morning it was light our when I woke up and I jumped up in a panic. somehow I slept through both of my alarms and my husbands also. It was 8 am. OH CRAP! Under no circumstances should the sun be up before me. That means late…

The chaos ensues as I work through this madness, but I am just so convinced that it is a means to an end, and that despite the additional chaos of emptying a room into the living room to declutter it and put it away correctly, when it is all said and done, I will feel very calm, focused, and serene. I will be more productive. I have been longing for a citrus juicer for some time now…guess what I found that my mother in law left?  A citrus juicer. Saving money too…see, it is so worth it. I feel like my thoughts are racing, all running together, my fingers barely move as fast as my thoughts, and my fingers move pretty fast most days. I have so many wonderful ideas. As much as I love the routine of sleeping and waking a regular schedule, I cannot wait till my routine does not include the chaos of emptying and decluttering a room while I wait for the steam cleaned floor to dry so I can put back the keepers. I thought the kitchen would be one of the easiest rooms. No carpet to steam clean, nothing on the floor, just cupboards to sort through. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. It is so hard to go in there and empty the cupboards and carpets, that I will do almost anything to avoid it. I just want it done so badly, as soon as I realize I have walked away, I go back and make myself put stuff in a box like a robot if I have to….it will get done, and I think I have finally cleared everything out…ugh! Now I gotta sort it and put it back. And so it goes, I have done enough avoiding this morning. Time to hit the piles…wish me luck. Hope I don’t get lost in there (just kidding, it’s not that bad. none of the piles are bigger than me…). Until next time, my friends, many blessings to you all!

 

 

Posted on

a flicker of hope

Oh good day my friends! How are you all today? Oh, I am so, so well! I tell you, you have got to try this! I LOVE cleaning out these rooms. I can not stop, like a wildfire out of control, I just keep going, and it is easy not to burn out, because as I get each room worked through, I look at the next one and start thinking of how awesome that room will be, and what I am going to do with it. I gotta say, the inspiration is outstanding. I LOVE the way it feels in the rooms that are done, and I can almost picture the whole house feeling this good…getting closer! I just cannot express with words alone how great the rooms that are de-cluttered feel. I cannot put in black and white how good it feels to send bags of stuff out the door, whether it be trash or someone else’s  treasure. I am already finding myself saving money and being way, way more productive.

It has been pretty amazing how this has all worked out. I had a plan to start the rooms on the weekend when hubby was home, and work through them during the week while he is at work, but it would mean a lot of stagnant sitting while I wait for him to come home and help me move furniture between rooms. I was ok with it, but blessing of all blessings, he got a call two days into it and was told he was on indefinite vacation till they get another bid. Oh it made my day! He has been so helpful, so supportive, and quite frankly, everything is going so much smoother than it would be if he was not here.

Well, just a short note this morning friends! I have a whole dining room that has been cleaned and is now waiting for me to put back the belongings that I am keeping and putting in there. I must say, one of my favorite things so far, is how we managed to create a make-shift pantry, much like I have always dreamed of (only on a much smaller scale). It feels so wonderful to see my food all lined up nicely in rows…and to know exactly what I have. Fabulous! OK, back to it….until next time, many blessings my friends!

 

 

Posted on

Over-stuffed

OK friends, time for some bitter, ugly, truth. I am making a life change, a big one, and I have to share, and to do so, I have to tell you some secrets. I decided I will bare all for a moment, let you have a peek at the private life of me, and well, if it inspires just one person, it was all worth it. Just hang with me as I let my guard down and show you some real, raw, me. I know that I have mentioned clutter before, but you don’t know how far it goes. I hate to say it, but I think between my husband and I, we are teetering on the brink of being able to call ourselves hoarders. That freaks me out. It all began several years ago. He and I were both raised very frugally, if it can be re-used or recycled, don’t throw it out. Also, being ever conscious of the growing concerns with out earth, its hard to throw anything out these days, for fear of making more problems, better to re-use it, save money and the planet, right? Ok, so back to where it starts. You now know that both sets of parents taught us to save it if we can. One is going through some clutter issues herself, so sends us as much of it as she thinks we can use. Her heart is in the right place, but I cannot manage it all. Anyway, So, My husband inherited a LOT of family stuff, as well as the stuff he had on his own, and the stuff my son and I had. When we merged our lives, the amount of STUFF became overwhelming. It doesn’t fit in our space. I have tried and tried for years, to find ways to organize, rearrange, and sort through all the stuff, but I get no-where. The clutter holds me back, keeps me from focusing, gives me a constant feeling of chaos and loss of control, but I am only one person, and it is the mostly unwanted stuff of seven people. UGH! Too stinkin much stuff. So, I made a huge decision this week. I decided that one room at a time, one week at a time, I am going to purge the room, pull everything out. EVERYTHING. I am sorting through it one piece at a time. I am sorting into want, garbage, don’t want, let hubby decide…and if he keeps, find a home for, I have piles and piles of stuff going out of my house. I have thrown away three contractors bags of stuff, given away hundreds of pounds of stuff to people who consider it treasure, rather than trash. I have lost at least two hundred pounds this week and it feels AWESOME!   My office got new carpet for my birthday, and I started there. I pulled it all out, and I confess, I still have a small pile to go through, but it was so easy to throw stuff away once the room was empty. I decided which furniture to put back, cleaned it all up, and then restocked it. It was easy to look at the new office, and look at the item in my hand, and say…I dont want to put this back in there…is it garbage, does it go in a different room, or should it belong to someone else. I have a big box of books to take to the used book store, and I feel as though I have control in that one little space. I LOVE IT! This week I start the kitchen and dining area. I think that the office and that area are the two most cluttered, overwhelmed spaces I have ever had to function in and they drive me nuts. I think I will have more control of everything in my life, I will be better at budgeting and I will be able to focus on the things I enjoy without the threat of chaos at any moment in the back of my mind. I am convinced that I will sleep better, and be more productive every day. I have had three days of clean, organized office, and I can already feel a difference in my spirit. I never wanted stuff. I have always been free of that burden, able to drop what I have at a thrift store and head out with a backpack on my back. As a parent, I don’t feel quite that free, nor do I have a real desire to take off like that. I enjoy my soft bed and hot shower, however, I don’t need a whole bunch of stuff to enjoy it, as a matter of fact, all this stuff is killing my spirit, but I never knew how to get a grip on it till last week when I finally got fed up, set my hubby down, and talked it out with him. He has been so supportive and helpful. Had the whole week off work and spent it helping me declutter…start over actually. Its wonderful! I recommend it if you struggle with the clutter of stuff. Once the room is the way you want it, its easy to say…ewww, why do I have this?

So, I have set a one room/one week goal. I aim to do a room a week. I think that the hardest two rooms will take that long, and the rest should be much quicker. I intend to take a day to steam clean each room also, so I have to allow for a day to move it all out and a day to clean it good, then I can start sorting and re-organizing it. Oh the freedom is wonderful. Everyone who comes in my house goes out with a big bag of stuff and it feels GREAT!

So, I ate a meal one time, I was over-stuffed, like too much food on Thanksgiving. It was awful, disgusting, and I hurt for hours. It ruined my appetite and I never ate like that again. I had dieted for years to no avail, but after that binge meal, my appetite changed so much that I lost thirty pounds naturally and have been stuck at a very healthy weight, maybe even a tiny bit underweight, since that day in 1994. The clutter in my home feels like that meal, like I am overstuffed and I never want to feel this way again…out it goes, anything that I haven’t used or can replace for under fifty bucks (within reason, obviously, I am keeping my wedding dress…).

I am making my husband take accountability for all the crap he and his family have shoved to the side over the years, and if he doesn’t want it he has to call his mom or it goes to goodwill. If I am not tied to it, he better claim it if he doesn’t want it to be re-homed or trashed. I am putting my foot down. He is gone at work all week, and I am responsible for the bills and budget, the meals, the home. I cannot manage it like this, and I am really unhappy trying, so here it is. Do you want it or should it go in the trash? Decide today, or I decide for you. I am so happy that he is being supportive in the whole endeavor, and I cannot wait till my home, the entire thing, feels as serene as my office does now. If I get rid of 200 pounds of crap per room (which I have far exceeded with the office) I will lose almost 2000 pounds of crap this next few weeks. Can you imagine? That is a lot of junk. I think I will get rid of more than that, but that is my goal! It might be hard to get rid of two hundred pounds each in the bathrooms, but I can make up for it in other area’s I am sure!

ANd, as for keeping up the energy to keep going with it…wow that Apple Cider Vinegar does good things. I spent a couple weeks drinking it, feeling kinda crappy, detoxing, and tired and grumpy. I now feel a WHOLE lot better in many ways, but I am sleeping like a champ. I have always slept well, but usually not till two or three am. Now, I am tired at ten thirty at night. I get up at five or six am, work hard all day, and get tons done, and fall into bed exhausted at ten o’clock, to wind down and wait for my child to sleep so I can. It’s amazing how normal and regular I feel. I also LOVE that. My dishes are done every night, I don’t look around saying, “I don’t feel like dealing with this today”. I am attacking the chaos in a nearly manic way, and staying charged, rather than binge cleaning and burning out. I have sustained. I am not binge cleaning, well, kinda, but not really. I stop to eat, I sleep the most normal hours ever, and I clean when I am awake. My aim is to get it cleaned and sorted enough that I can sit on my couch and put my feet up and sip a cup of tea without feeling anxiety that I should be cleaning. I have a two month goal. I will keep you all posted. Meanwhile…many blesssings my friends! Till next time…

 

Posted on

Finding the way

Hello, and good day to you all! It’s been a while, as usual. Life is busy the first week of school, and I cannot deny that the end of summer burnout was really getting to me. So much running, people to see, places to be. Ugh. How I long for the crisp mornings of Autumn and the quietness that comes when everyone gets settled in for a new school year! Well, they are here! Oh Yes! I am thrilled. Today, it is crisp, fall, a grey day. Hard to tell if it is smoke from all the fires, or clouds, though. I am hoping its mostly clouds. It feels like a weird season for everyone. Most are displaced, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, or lacking focus. I find a great sense of peace knowing that  I am not the only person feeling so discombobulated these days. My faith is strong, and yet I wonder, “Why so many challenges”? I have about a gajillion things I am dying to do, and I feel clumsy at every one of them at the moment. I am trying, but the results feel forced, and I am unsatisfied. Example. I spent the majority of yesterday focused on a long, intricate bead project. I put genuine care, effort, and thought into the project, and when I was done, it was a huge failure. The previous night I made another, simpler, piece….turned out fabulous, except it is too short for anyone other than a young child. I made hummus for the first time, which wasn’t the best I have ever had, nor was it the worst. It was pretty tasty. Unfortunately, I accidentally bought diet Pita bread. It is about a third as thick as real Pita bread, and works just great if I fold it up so it’s thick…it’s just slightly disappointing, you know? Its been like that, just slightly off, for a couple days now. I am trying to just breathe through it, and know that this too shall pass.

On the upside, I have been having a host of health issues, as you all know by now, and well, I tried apple cider vinegar (ACV). It has made a huge difference, and man, it’s tasty. I crave it. BUT, the real deal here is that it is working. Things that have been ailing me as long as I can remember are healing. I feel different, better…but I still feel like I am detoxing. It is a slow effect. It takes a long time, months I believe, of drinking it regularly, to see real results…depending on how alkaline your body is or is not. I have been drinking it for a little over two weeks now, and holy smokes, the changes. I should mention that I CRAVE it. If you have never tried it, it is not what you would imagine. Its just a couple tsp. raw ACV in a glass, with a couple tsp. honey, and then I add warm water. reminds me of a hot apple cider, and its yummy, and making a huge difference in my well being so far. I will admit, I got really crabby at first, but for the most part, that is waning. I assume it has to do with detoxing, but any way you look at it, it seems to be worth it! I am convinced that it is a forever part of my diet, and one of the secrets to longevity. It’s amazing what it does for arteries, and diabetes, and well…the health benefits are just amazing! One of the things it works on is nerves. I have nerve damage under my arm, and it HURTS all the time, like it has been rubbed raw. I know no relief for it, but when I drink this AVC, it goes away very quickly, and stays gone for longer each time. I can make it almost a whole day now with little or no sensitivity in that area. Profound! I feel as though I should make a page specifically for health stuff. I have tried a lot of non traditional health care options, and I think I have a lot to share on the subject. Maybe I can help someone who is just as baffled as I was. For example, I used garlic, in combination with other things, to heal an abscess in my tooth. It worked like a champ, and within a couple days, the abscess surfaced, and proceeded to heal. The day after it felt good enough to stop applying the garlic, I came across an article saying that scientists have once again proven that garlic is more effective than antibiotics. Imagine that. God’s medicine works better than man’s. Strange concept, huh?  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134203.htm

Do a search, there is lots to read, but how exciting is THAT! I needed to use garlic for three days, with other things, of course, and it was healed. Antibiotics, I would have had to take three times a day for ten days, and they disrupt the natural levels of yeast in my body, as well as cause all kinds of other ill effects. I am happy to have garlic! Its funny, I had read, use garlic, use garlic, but everywhere I read said it would hurt, make me cry, bring me to my knees, so I avoided and avoided it for two or three days. Instead, I packed the area with cayenne pepper, and a mixture of salt and baking soda, alternately. Finally, one day, I realized that if I could handle those two things packed into my abscessed tooth, I could probably handle the garlic, and I got right on that. Two days later I was good as new.  Applied garlic for one more day just to be sure, and no problems since. And, can I just mention, garlic is WAY cheaper than pharmaceuticals are!

I am happy that Fall has arrived, that the mornings are crisp and the afternoons hover in the 70’s. Lovely. Just perfect! This is my favorite kind of weather. I love listening when the occasional fall thunderstorm rolls through, and the thunder echoes off the mountain walls. I look forward to the process of putting my garden to bed for the season, and that is right around the corner. I look forward to moving the few cold hardy things into the greenhouse and seeing what will happen. I am really excited to get to work on some crafts and writing and such, and start doing some of the stuff that will get me to RMRR. I am excited to see what the season may bring! As routine starts to fall into place, I am feeling peace slide back into my heart! It’s time to make a plan and set some short term goals. I have decided that it is only through a series of short term goals, that I will reach the long term goals…so, today I leave you with a wish of many blessings, while I flutter off to make my path for this season. I sincerely hope that each one of you finds a little renewal of peace today.