Pulling the wool over my eyes

March 11, 2009 at 9:16 am 2 comments

I’ve been away from the States for so long. I think that is an expression, but now that I wrote it, I’m not so sure. However, I’m sure you’ll know what I mean very soon. Do you ever — right in the middle of whatever is happening — pretend it’s not? Oh, it’s not really this bad. Oh, he doesn’t mean it that way. Oh, things will get better. Oh, it could be worse. In my case, I recently realized, it had a lot to do with not truly believing in what I want for my life.

It’s a habit of mine to settle for what is. That isn’t necessarily bad, as some things we cannot change. Here we go again! Back to the Serenity Prayer! I’d say I spent a good part of my life focussing on the first sentence: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” After talking about it, dreaming about it, wishing, hoping, crying, despairing, I am ready to graduate to the next sentence: “[Grant me] the courage to change the things I can.”

That is what I have been mulling over recently, which is why I have been so quiet. I have come to some good (subjectively judged, of course!) realizations and am developing a game plan. Perhaps I am an idealist, but I am convinced that if I deal with change in a good way — with love and wishing the best for all involved — that it will indeed turn out for the best.

Once again I am focussing on one step at a time. I am also thinking things through rather than impulsively jumping in. The difference is, I’m not thinking things through to leave everything as it is. I’m thinking things through to actively make big changes. Things are turning around. First they have to turn around in my head. As they do that, I feel the changed attitude taking hold. I am convinced that when it comes time to go through the motions, they will come naturally, because the big change already occurred in my head. This is different from the old pattern of tolerating until things become intolerable and then exploding. I don’t recommend that approach.

I will spare you exact details and particulars, but want to share what is important for me now. I focus on examining the situation clearly. I observe what happens and how I feel in various interactions. I stand back and observe the big picture, with all of the interactions and stress factors. A solution has presented itself. Rather than seeking the big solution to change the world all at once, I am focussing on an interim solution, which would work well for me and for the others.

Right now I am focussing on clarifying goals and accepting the decisions I have made for myself. Integrating them into my consciousness and heart, letting go of my guilt feelings and accepting that I am indeed entitled to live my life. The way it was destined. I have been on a major detour, but the right road is in sight. I’m just navigating the last few tricky turns to get back on it.

At times, it just doesn’t seem possible that I could have come so far and yet still have so far to go. But whether I believe it or not, that’s how it is. There are still challenges and opportunities for growth that I avoided up until now. I am lazy and prefer a comfortable life, so I was willing to make some extreme concessions. Only now do I realize just how extreme. If I’d realized it sooner, I would have made changes sooner. It takes what it takes, that’s all I can say.

It is a comfort to know that I am breaking through baggage that has been passed on for a few generations, so it’s no wonder it has taken a while. Some habits and behavior patterns are so well disguised that they appear normal to us. I’m gathering up my energy for the big spring cleaning in my heart, home and life. If I see myself as a tree, I’m on the brink of spring. The inner juices are getting ready to flow. The branches need examining and pruning, to enhance growth once spring comes on full force. There isn’t much time, but I remain calm and directed.

To go off on a tangent, I remember in the early days of recovery when I would go to therapy and be totally hyper. I was elated because I hadn’t puked for a few days, a week, or whatever, and thought that everything was just wonderful. The therapist commented that I was floating. I was not grounded on the earth. I was holding my breath in excitement, hoping that nothing would go wrong to shatter the new-found fragile recovery.

Today my recovery is not about holding my breath. It’s about daily stuff, with the regular ups and downs that go along with it. Being a harmony-oriented person, it can be quite a challenge to deal with that stuff — even now. I still want “happily ever after” and that’s just not the way life is. Life is a great work of art, a big picture, and it has all kinds of stuff in it — some pretty, some ugly. In the end, it will be a masterpiece, but today I don’t see it all. That’s okay.

Here’s a song from Judy Collins that my mother recorded onto a 30-minute cassette over and over and over again. That was somewhere around 1970. Back then it drove me crazy. But it’s a beautiful song. I guess I had to grow into it.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
When every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From win and lose, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Schemes and dreams and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

Entry filed under: changing my behavior, Coping, journey of life, music. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

A time to be quiet The way you are

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pochp  |  March 11, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I think the title of the song is ‘From Both Sides Now’.
    I like it very much too. Reminds us of the good past.

    • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  March 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm

      Yes, that’s it. It is wonderful, and sums up so much of life experience quite poetically.


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