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Archive for April, 2009

Holy Peeps!

Last year, my coworker introduced me to the annual “Peeps Diorama Contest” held by the Washington Post. Yes, Peeps!  You know, the Easter marshmallow treat that comes in pastel colors? Though I do not possess a single creative bone in my body, I truly admire all things “artsy”, albeit dorky at times.  The entries in 2008 were fantastic, but the contest is getting more competitive each passing year. Some of the entries are just so damn clever! How do people come up with these things?!  Hopefully, you’ll get a chuckle (or two) out of some of this year‘s finalists.

 (Ok! Maybe not this one. It’s a bit too close to home for me.)

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Lifted Spirits

I had a very productive day yesterday. I think the S-Anon Intergroup meeting gave me the hope and the strength I so desperately needed.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been behind on my work at the office.  I just couldn’t seem to focus and I was running to the ladies room for mini meltdowns every thirty minutes . Fortunately, I was able to kick into full gear on Monday, and I hope to keep the momentum for at least the rest of this week.  In addition, after four weeks of not stepping foot in a supermarket, I finally got my ass to the Pathmark and bought a few items (juice, milk, cereal, toilet paper, and tea).  Nothing extravagent, but it’s a start.  I’ve only been eating takeout, and have gained 10lbs because of it.  Did I mention that I haven’t stepped foot in a gym for the past 3 weeks either? I’m hoping to get back to my usual workout routine as soon as possible because I have a beach vacation in the next few weeks (yay!). Also, I am proud to say that I am no longer living in squalor. I finally cleaned the apartment and it looks like it’s back to a normal state.  

It’s just amazing to see how depression tainted ALL the areas in my life! I’m not saying I’m magically cured (because I’m not), I’m just trying to ride this wave of productiveness before the next shoe drops.  I am also thinking of asking a lady in my S-Anon group to be my sponsor.  She has the serenity I seek, and though she’s a bit older than me (by four decades!), I believe we have much in common.  Her insight has been an invaluable source of strength and wisdom. Surprisingly, I am very nervous to ask her! I trust my HP will guide me in the right direction. I’m just glad to be back to some version of my old self.  Hoping this positive wave lasts just a bit longer.

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The Butterfly Story

For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with my “place” in recovery – where I am (or not) suppose to be. I beat myself up because I’m not further along in my path to recovery, and then sometimes, I resent having to do recovery work at all!  In addition, I’ve been questioning my husband’s efforts, and whether or not he’s been putting sufficient amount of time and energy towards recovery. As luck would have it,  this weekend, I half-heartedly decided to attend the S-Anon Intergroup meeting for my region. The theme for the meeting was: We are exactly where we need to be. One of the ladies shared a story about a butterfly that helped me come to an important realization. Here’s the story:


The Butterfly Story

A little boy went up to a guru who was sitting and looking at something in his hand. The little boy went up and looked at it. He didn’t quite understand what it was, so he asked the guru, “What is that?”. “It’s a cocoon,” answered the guru. “Inside the cocoon is a butterfly. Soon the cocoon is going to split, and the butterfly will come out.” “Could I have it?” asked the little boy. “Yes,” said the guru, “but you must promise me that when the cocoon splits and the butterfly starts to come out and is beating it’s wings to get out of the cocoon, you won’t help it. It is important not to help the butterfly by breaking the cocoon apart. It must do it on it’s own.”
The little boy promised, took the cocoon, and went home with it. He then sat and watched it. He saw it begin to vibrate and move and quiver, and finally the cocoon split in half. Inside was a beautiful damp butterfly, frantically beating its wings against the cocoon, trying to get out and not seeming to be able to do it. The little boy desperately wanted to help. Finally, he gave in, and pushed the two halves of the cocoon apart. The butterfly sprang out, but as soon as it got out, it fell to the ground and was dead.

The little boy picked up the dead butterfly and in tears went back to the guru and showed it to him. “Little boy,” said the guru, “You pushed open the cocoon, didn’t you?”. “Yes,” said the little boy, “I did.”  The guru spoke to him gravely, “You don’t understand. You didn’t understand what you were doing. When the butterfly comes out of the cocoon, the only way he can strengthen it’s wings is by beating them against the cocoon. It beats against the cocoon so it’s muscles will grow strong. When you helped it, you prevented it from developing the muscles it would need to survive.”

Even though I am really struggling and my circumstances don’t make any sense to me or others, this is where I need to be. I’ve seen myself, as well as others, try to split the cocoon in half, but as the story goes, this will only hurt me in the end.  I must also fight the urge to “help” my husband along his path of recovery.  He, too, is exactly where he needs to be. I only pray that after beating our little wings against the cocoons, we’ll both emerge the beautiful butterflies we are destined to be.

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This is my fourth week attending the Buddhism workshop classes. The classes are held in a cozy little studio. There is only one door in the front that faces a semi busy sidewalk with a large storefront window. This center is located in a nice, quiet neighboorhood which borders a not so nice town. As you walk in the door, one of the students is waiting to greets newcomers. Though I am enjoying the seminar, I can not concentrate when it comes to the meditation portion of the class. The student that is suppose to be watching the door always joins in on the meditation. So while everyone (including the instructor) is focusing on their meditation with their eyes closed, I am freaking out in my chair! The unattended front door is the only thought racing through my head. In horror, I think: who is watching the door?! After reading one too many true crime stories, I am paranoid of a  mass murderer raiding the quiet Buddhist center or at the very least a junky looking to rob us all for some cash. (I know, I know. Who thinks of this stuff?).

During the last class, my anxiety peaked to an all time high. We had a “questionable” individual walk into the class. He arrived halfway through the class and seemed very out of place at the meditation center. He also looked like he had been using drugs. He sat right next to me with some chips and soda and stayed for the duration of the class. When the time arrived for our closing meditation, I couldn’t concentrate, constantly watching this guy, and of course, the unattended door! Obviously, nothing happened. The whole experience was anticlimatic. After the session, I quickly called my sister to tell her about my disconcerting experience and how I didn’t think I would be returning to the class again because of the unattended door situation. My sister found the whole thing hilarious ( I didn’t. I was serious!). She said, Ok! So if someone did come into the studio, what are YOU going to do about it? How are YOU going to save the class from this freaky “serial killer/ armed robber” person? Hmmm…I haven’t thought that far.  I didn’t know how I would solve the problem if it ever were to occur.  Actually, there wouldn’t be much I could do if someone decided to raid the place.  But that’s me, always trying to be the Superhero, even when the situation is out of my hands

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Something Blue

My coworker got engaged over the Easter holiday weekend. Ever since getting engaged, she’s been running around the office planning for her wedding in February. As I worked my way towards her desk to congratulate her on the recent engagement, I could hear her on the phone fighting with a wedding vendor. It was a week into her engagement and she has already turned into an official Bridezilla. I said my congratulations and quickly escaped from the line of fire. As I ran for cover, I thought about all the things I wanted to say to this young, anxious bride. I wanted to tell her to RELAX! You are making a commitment to the love of your life, that’s all that really matters. I wanted to tell her to BEWARE! The euphoria of wedding planning can distort your perception of reality, and when it’s all said and done, you are left with nothing but a foggy memory of the day. I also wanted to say BRACE YOURSELF for the times, both good and bad, that may lie ahead.

I then started remembering my own wedding day. I wanted a small, intimate wedding with family and friends, nothing big or extravagant, just a special day to share with ML and my loved ones. However, ML wanted none of that. Actually, he wasn’t concerned with making any of my wedding “dreams” come true. He insisted on getting married in city hall. We compromised by getting married on vacation. At the time, I felt so fortunate that ML would even consider marrying me (with all my personal baggage) that I didn’t demand all those things young girls dream about for their wedding day – a beautiful dress, fancy ring, and a wonderful party. I didn’t want him to change his mind by making our wedding day plans an “inconvenience” for him. Even on our wedding day, I feared him leaving me stranded at the altar with a wilted bouquet of flowers and a broken heart. Much to my relief, he showed up to the ceremony and we were legally married in a far off destination, away from our family and friends, on the beach. Despite all this, it was still one of the most beautiful and happiest days of my life. Then again, none of this matters anymore.

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I am experiencing what I believe to be a case of Stockholm Syndrome. Though ML’s addiction is the source of most of my pain and suffering these days, I can’t help but to rely on him for emotional support.  Ironically, when I was on an emotional downward spiral caused by his relapse, he was the only person there to lift my spirits.  How could the source of my pain also be my source of comfort?  The band Muse describes the feelings of being enmeshed in a codependent relationship in their appropriately titled song “Stockholm Syndrome”.  Even though there is constant pain and suffering, the enmeshment is so deep that both parties cannot find the will to leave the relationship.  The lyrics ring true with how I feel today – completely enraged by my circumstances, but unwilling to escape from the tangled web I’m in. 

Stockholm Syndrome
By: Muse

I won’t stand in your way 
Let your hatred grow 
And she’ll scream 
And she’ll shout 
And she’ll pray 
And she had a name 
Yeah, she had a name 

And I won’t hold you back 
Let your anger rise 
And we’ll fly 
And we’ll fall 
And you’ll burn 
No one will recall 
No one will recall 

This is the last time I’ll abandon you 
And this is… the last time I’ll forget you 
I wish I could 

Look to the stars 
Let hope burn in your eyes 
And we’ll yell 
Then we’ll hate 
And we’ll die 
All to no avail 
All to no avail 

This is the last time I’ll abandon you 
And this is.. the last time I’ll forget you 
I wish I could 

This is the last time I’ll abandon you 
And this is.. the last time I’ll forget you 

I wish I could 
I wish I could

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Facelift

I created this blog on a very sad and dark day.  I needed a place to vent, but the idea of an actual diary didn’t appeal to me.  I was also looking for a hobby to keep me busy during my separation. Soon enough, I was introduced to the world of blogging!  What started off as a purging exercise, quickly developed into my saving grace.  This blog has become a quarantine for my emotions and my most intimate thoughts.  Because this space is so important to me, I’ve decided to spruce it up a bit.  However since I’m no computer expert, this will be more of a “trial and error” experiment.  Please bear with the appearance of this blog while it undergoes a facelift.  The background, headers, and fonts may change, but The Daffodil’s Lament will always be a safe place for all. 

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