Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting Unstuck

One of the things I have to get back to doing is "to risk."

I have been under enormous (enormous? probably the right word, but my ego or voice inside my head, I cannot tell which one it is talking to me) pressure over the past year and a half. Separation, loss of job, looking for job, stock market, economy, new job, divorce proceedings, custody proceedings, money going out the door for lawyers, wife attacking, my brain working overtime, child going thru puberty, etc. all adding to the pressure.

So, in order to "control" the pressure I have not been "risking" or "being out there on the high wire" at work as I probably could be. Or is it "should be." I know about the "should thing." But maybe there is a "should" every now and then. Maybe I am working just enough. And maybe working "just enough" is perfectly fine.

I am not sure.

This is the dilemma. Am I stuck? Am I afraid to reconnect with old business acquaintances because of the fear of rejection?


As I am writing this the thought comes to mind: What if they don't return my call? The ANSWER: So what? What will happen if they don't? Nothing. Except an ego bruise. AND the possibility of the ego taking control and making me feel "less than." Hmmmm.

Am I really "risking?"

Bite sized chunks.
I know to get around the "stuck" thing is to make a list. Break down the thing I need or should or must do, into smaller, bite sized chunks, on a piece of paper. Then schedule time on my calendar to do them. And then, . . . , JUST DO IT (them).

OK. Got it.

This is where I am this morning.

Also. I "attached" to something at work yesterday. And then when I "confronted" another manager, he started Bullshitting me, about how it's going to be better in the future. I told him I cannot wait and that the future is now. I told him, and I did it in the old way, that he cannot give me this crap about how good it's going to be. I don't think he ever was confronted before.

Why did I have to go and attack his bullshit? Why couldn't I have just adjusted and worked it out more indirectly? Which is the right way to go? I am never sure. I know; say what you mean, but don't say it meanly.

I said what I meant. I think it could have been interpreted as being mean. Now I fret, that he will tell others I am "explosive." I was not mind you - but I did tell him - not that he was full of shit, but he knew he could no longer ever bullshit me, just by my taking his words and tossing them into the garbage heap as "unmeaningful."

OK. How do I recover from this one? Apologize? Let it go? Or is it my head again that is causing me to worry about this? I am having difficulty with the balance.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fear - Mastery of,

This morning I am reminded that fear resides not outside me, but inside me. Fear is my reaction to my thoughts. Or my thinking about my thoughts of what "could be happening" or "could happen," but not necessarily what is happening.

The solution, I read, is not eliminating fear, but transcending fear.

Trying to eliminate fear is a trap. Trying to suppress my responses is also a trap. I need to become detached as an on-looker is; unbiased, non-judgmental, non-emotional, as if I were floating above the event watching it unfold.

Can I do this? How can I remember to do this?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another NEW Day

So. I was bummed out yesterday. Surprise? Nope. I went to bed, couldn't sleep and then woke up around 4AM.

Yes. I did it. I vacuumed the house around 5AM!

OKAY. Went to noon-day meeting. It was around slogans. "This too shall pass" seemed to be getting a lot of talking about.

I spoke of it and said my version is; "This too shall pass. But I want it to pass now." I went on to say; "I am very fortunate. I am doing well. I am in good health. It is only my thinking that is doing 'it' to me."

Yes. My thinking. Exacerbated by lack of sleep and a small cold I picked up Wednesday that I thought I knocked out Friday. Still have it apparently this morning.

Went running yesterday AM before work. Good 3 miles. But need to do every morning/day. It makes a HUGE difference.

Also need to get back into reading every morning.

Called my sponsor yesterday as I was pissed. He pulled over to a parking lot to focus on what I was saying. We all have this obsessive thinking disease. We think way too much. We. I mean I. I don't know what we have. I know what I have. That is the "advisor" coming out in me. Focus on yourself dear Joseph.

You can only control yourself. And damn that is hard enough.

Focus on yourself and what is reality. No one is doing anything to you (me). They are too busy worried about their own things. Think about what you can control and shut up and shut off.

Peace this morning.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Book I Picked Up

Not an Al-Anon book for sure. And before I tell you who the author is, I want to tell you what he writes.

He writes what I could not write - but I feel it, and I have the same problem. My wife is an alcoholic, and she is, well, crazy. Yes. I said it. And she is feeding my child reasons as to why I am seeking a divorce. Ranging from I have/had a girlfriend (untrue) to I am a mean person.

It pisses me off. And today, I am bummed out. My wife heads to the beach with our child and does not work, does not seek work, nor does she have to. She is feeding our child untruths.

I prayed to God this morning and last night, asking for him to show me what it is I am not seeing, what I am not getting. I got on my knees asking for help this morning in the middle of the master bathroom.

Yes. I am bummed out.

I took my child to dinner last night. She did not want to eat. She wanted to buy a notebook pad from this upscale store for $29. I thought that was ridiculous. Of course, I have learned to not say that. But I did tell her "No, not now."

Her mother bought a calendar from there. My child showed me. It was $25.

I, of course, Googled calendars and printed off a free one.

How is it I work, she doesn't and I save and she spends.
I filed for divorce because of the safety of this child. I am not despised/disdained by the same child I sought to protect.

We went to Barnes and Noble last night. I picked up a book .....

On page 49;
"If your spouse is not open and cooperative regarding divorced co-parenting, every day you spend disconnected from your child is another day that child adjusts to life without you. Although you may call regularly, or visit on alternating weekends, your influence in a child's day-to-day life wanes. It is as though the child takes her love for you and places it on a shelf."

Sad. It is true. I could not explain it . . . but this does.

The book is by someone I NEVER liked.

He, in fact, screamed at his daughter and left it on a phone answering machine. You know who I am talking about now.

When I heard this recording all over the news channels, I thought "How could anyone EVER talk to his daughter this way? He is absolutely an ASSHOLE."

But now I know the frustration. I know how a child can be their parent's avenger. I see it first hand.

Of course the book is by Alec Baldwin. It has so much truth about the legal system and divorce that it is absolutely uncanny how accurate it is and how it expresses the problems of co-parenting. And how judges don't give a shit. Lawyers are damn bastards. And how parents wage a war through the child.

It is a war I am going to sit on the sidelines for.

I remember my wife talking about Larry Byrd years ago, and how he never saw his daughter and what an asshole he was for doing that. I thought so too. But now I know. I know how a child you love turns against you and starts calling you names and does not want to be there because of the mother and how she has started to cast a pall over the father.

I am bummed this morning. I need to get out of this funk by getting outside my head.

I went to a meeting last night. I saw my sponsor. But I was so bummed, I left immediately after the closing prayer.

I have got to get outside my head this morning.

PS - Don't think I am okaying what Baldwin said to his daughter. But I now know he was hurt and torn and felt unappreciated. He lashed out. I now know that. I know how bitter he might have been. You not being in the same place may have the same initial impression I did of him.

PPS - I will get out of this okay and of course, alive.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Attempts Controlling My Attempts to Control

Absolutely amazing. My attempts to control the uncontrollable. I even attempt to control my controlling. Think about that one for a minute.

Writers Comment: This is a long post today folks . . . but you have to read all it. I reveal some aspects of control that I have not always recognized.

This morning I thought about all the things I could and should do to "Stop a certain person" from spamming my little blog site. I thought about looking for a way to block this person from commenting.

I remember this morning getting a little pissed off and figuring out a way to threaten this person.

Retaliating against him. "Getting even." Hmmmm . . .

Then I read a little passage. It was a small one sentence that stuck out in this book. It is a sentence that we all know - I mean - we heard it a million times. It wasn't even in an Al-Anon book. The sentence was just there -staring at me - and in the back of my head I was figuring out what I could do to get back at this person.

Yep. I was "planning" and "scheming." I even had these hurtful words starting to enter my head as to how best to wound him so he would go away. Yes. I will admit this.

Then the words; "The only thing you can control is yourself." showed up in the middle of the paragragh.

I laughed - or smiled is more like it. Yes. My attempt to control was going on in my head. I had "get back at you" strategies going on.

What a laugh.

So what someone is spamming my little blog site. He is really causing no harm. Does he really know me? Does he know any of us?

He was on my "little site" before. I looked him up. He's from some where in Australia. Actually I know the city and just about everything about him. Yes. I was attempting to control. I wasted a lot of time looking him up. His own blogspot had a lot about him. He revealed a lot about his family, where he lived, how he grew up and how he found his beliefs.

Yes. I was "going to get back." Retaliate. Why? Anger. But it was fear based. What was I afraid of? His opinion? Of me. Of you? I was going to defend you. That's what I did as the oldest one. I defended my brothers and sister. I helped them through school. Now I was going to defend me and you. From what? His opinion? His cutting and pasting of long stuff?

I could wound him now. I could say "Can't you write? Do you know ha, ha, ha etc is really not so intelligent? And cutting and pasting someone elses words is another form of stupidity and non-original thinking? And . . . " But I know he's been asked these types of questions before you see. I can sense it. That is where I can wound. I used my sensing ability to defend through my words.

My controlling power is well honed. It's sharp. It pops up in the most little things in life. I cannot control it because it is so hard to recognize.

Even my deleting of his comments are an attempt to control.

I even thought about using humor. Here was going to be my post;
Dear Mickey,

I have someone I would like you to meet. Obviously you are a lonely soul. Mickey meet my ex-wife. Ex-wife, meet Mickey.

Please torture each other.

Yes. That would be funny I thought. But again, my humor is another attempt to control.

All these things were going on inside my head - very, very fast. Quickly processing. In seconds I had formulated several strategies to wound, attack, control, get even, be funny, be smart etc. Seconds.

Controlling the uncontrollabe. How pervasive is this in my life?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just In: Live Your Vision

I am rerere-reading A Strategy for Daily Living by Ari Kiev. Great books have to be read many times. And in this little obscure book lies great secrets of living life AND being successful.

First chapter: A Worthy Purpose.

This sentence struck me this morning;

When you focus too heavily on the attainment of your goals instead of on the process of living your vision, you will find yourself living too much in the future instead of the present.


As soon as you accomplish something or get what you want, you will become attached to it and then begin to pursue the objective, not as an expression of the larger vision of yourself and the world, but because you are caught up in wanting more of what you have a achieved.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Tomorrow in Al-Anon is non-existent in the sense that I have my head in the future and what "will" happen or what "might" happen.

In today's reading from Courage to Change it talks of tomorrow. The opening line is;

"When we talk of tomorrow," says a Chinese proverb, "the gods laugh." They laugh not because they find us ridiculous, but because they know the future is not predictable. Thus, we have no choice but to live "One day at a time."

I can make plans, but I cannot determine the results.

This is me. It was me in a big way. I spent all my hours - and I am not exaggerating here - living in the future. When I was on vacation, I would work, worrying about next week when I got back. When I was in the water at the beach very rarely did I just enjoy it - except when body surfing - where I had to be conscious - but I can look back and still remember thinking about "later" or "what I need to do" and "how I need to make sure everyone was in the car ready to go for dinner."

Is this true? Or is my brain just saying this?

I can remember - telling a colleague - that when driving from a client's office I would often - always - visualize myself coming into my building - literally opening the door of the building by pulling it open and then walking down the hall - thinking about who I might run into - people who worked for me and anticipating what issues they may bring to me and then getting into my office and working down my "to do" list.

I was proud of that fact of my ability to visualize.

Here in Al-Anon it really is a program of focusing on the NOW. I never would have heard this - if it wasn't for Eckard Tolle's books on the subject. As soon as I read (no studied it) I started hearing about the "Now" in Al-Anon. It was all over the place. What a rip-off! You can join Al-Anon and get this information for free and make it part of your being instead of going to these self-help seminars on the "Power of Now." Not really a rip-off. Just making a point about this program and how deep and rich it can be if you work it and it will work you.

You get just what you need . . . and I (you) can leave the rest.

Oh yes. One more - important thing.

Al-Anon seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. I will say it is Not - because I am defending it. But to the "untrained eye" - it may be. As we don't bring in religions you will find quotes from various religious beliefs.

Today's quote for example is a good one. But it is from the Bible.

"Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself."

Interesting. And, I wonder if they had semi-colons back in the day.

There is tomorrow. I just need to do the footwork today. Cannot make the future occur the way I wish it would.

Peace this Sunday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Everytime - I Get What I Need

One of the miracles in Al-Anon is, I seem to always get what I need at a meeting.

I read the daily reading in our meeting at the noon group meeting this past Wednesday, May 13. It's part of the format of this group to read the Steps, Traditions, Concepts and Warranties as well as the daily reading from any of the 3 daily readers.

So, as I read this passage, I was saying, "Damn. Just what I need. A - friggin' - gain." To myself mind you, as I don't let random thoughts pop out of my head and disrupt the flow of the meeting!

Recently - over the past few years - I have been - God I hate to admit this - reluctant to make decisions and reluctant to confront people. This is very recent, as I was a confronter. I am now afraid to open certain emails - as I "just know" they are going to be zingers (usually from my wife and the people I am renting this house I am now in).

The reading struck me. It was just what I needed, as I am touched or haunted with "dread" on certain aspects of my life. I have been burned before and therefore a little indecisive. Here is the passage from Courage to Change May 13 that struck me and was just what I needed;

For a time I avoided making decisions because I was sure that there was some "magical" right choice that would get me what I wanted, yet I never seemed to know what that choice was. I waited until the last minute to decide and never felt good about my choices. Today I know that choosing not to decide is to decide.

It can be very liberating to make a decision. Once the decision is made, I can trust that the consequences will unfold as they should. With a slight change in attitude, perhaps I can await them with excitement and hope rather than fear and dread.

This is where I am today. When I make a decision or I am waiting for a response or I get the response (the email or call from my soon-to-be-ex or maybe someday-ex), I have this fear and dread feeling come over me.

I have not been to as many meetings as I would like. I am so busy at work and was so busy preparing for divorce. And so busy trying to regain my personal life. And so busy trying to stay in shape. And so busy . . .

I am forgetting being centered. My centering is the most important thing in this list. It affects everything else.

The meeting was just what I needed. This passage hit me in head. It had the two words "fear" and "dread" -

Also - by the way - the word "consequences" above has typically a negative connotation to some. But it is not the true definition of the word. Consequences are just results of actions -neither positive or negative. I know, I looked the word up many years ago, and unless they changed the definition this is correct. Why are you typing this by the way Joseph? Well in your need to help (read control) others, you want them to understand the word in the passage. Also, are you trying to help (control)? And show (control) you are smart? Man, I read control all the way through this.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just In: What I Don't Do

Just In: In Al-Anon I learn to give up control of others, events and other things "outside my circle."

This morning I am reading an interesting thought that I want to share. Here it is:

In time you may realize that your impact on the world often derives not from what you do but from what you don't do.

I like this thought. I am going to sit with it. I do a sort of "inventory" when I have something I must do or when I am reacting to something. I ask; "Will this help - that is - if I do something, will this make matters better? Or is my ego trying to make me react because I fear losing something or feeling 'less than'?"

What I don't do may make more of a positive difference in my personal and professional life. Strike "may" and replace with "probably."


For the past week, I scurried late at night and in the early morning, to prepare for trial. We were to go to trial Monday - tomorrow - but Friday the deal was delayed once more. My wife's attorney was not ready.

So here I am again, relieved in one sense, and disappointed not to get on with it in another sense.

In justice, there is little truth. I can tell you that first hand. Lawyers are good sales people. If I offend, well, I am not sure I can truthfully say "I am sorry." But, the truth is, all lawyers present not the facts, the a skewed version of the facts that are in the interests of their client.

If everything was just the truth, well, I believe we would see a different world. I can see it on Wall Street. I can see it politics. Are there no people who just want the truth. Even if it sheds bad light on them?

Anyway, I hear myself. My ego is sounding self-righteous. Yep. I can catch it now, thanks to Al-Anon.

I believe I am up before court June 9. We'll see.