Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I am working hard to accept that I am powerless over people, places, and things. As always, it is hard to do. I want to fix it.

Okay, okay. I'll admit I can be a bit of a control freak. I want things the way I want them -- which is to say I want the people I love to have a good life, to be free from undue suffering, to have the ability to bring themselves out of a funk and to cope with the big lumps life sometimes deals us.

And some things that have been problems for my loved ones seem to be smoothing out a bit, not that there still aren't issues. But one I thing I know is true: everything changes. Nothing stays the same.

I'm grateful for time and persistance, just slogging through the day sometimes, and doing the next right thing as it comes up, whatever it is. It's hard to do, but it usually pays off eventually, with some easing of the anxiety and fear and anger and grief. Not gone, but eased. That's where two of my loved ones are this day.

But when we're looking at major depression and the side effects of medicine, that's a whole 'nuther kettle of fish. How long do you give it a shot before you call the doctor? And how far do you push the person -- especially since I want to keep communication as open as possible?

I want it to be better. I want it NOW. (or in the near future...) I want progress.

A friend told me once that I was too analytical when it came to my own behavior and also that of others. I do analyze a lot -- maybe it's rationalization -- maybe it's the result of years of reading and self-analysis. I don't know how to turn it off, and am not sure I want to. It does help me to understand behavior and why people act as they do, mostly.

I do know that I need to try to let go the things that I can't change or fix. I guess that dealing with my own emotions is as involved as I need to be, and to once again try to accept that I can't fix other people's problems. (I bet I get obnoxious, too, when I offer "helpful" suggestions.....)


On another note, I'm reading Randy Paush's The Last Lecture. He's the professor who has left this legacy for his children and his students, and who was featured a couple of times on Oprah. He died July 25 of pancreatic cancer.

It's about living with a death sentence, and it has the truths in it that I deeply believe: life is what you make it, and you can only live it one day at a time. But you treasure each of those days: none of us knows what day will be our last one. Tell people if you care about them. Mend relationships with people you love. Be good to yourself. Give thanks for what you have. Play. Pray. Laugh. Hug someone.

We are so busy "doing" what we have to do so much of the time that we forget about our inner selves that need nurturing and encouragement to just "be." I think that's one of the things that bothers me so about depression -- you can't SEE the disability, and it is frustrating both to not care what you do with your day and to watch someone you love spend their precious time like that.


I am grateful for September. That means that cool weather and rain isn't so far off. I am really done with summer, not that I ever do it very well. I want more cool nights with covers tucked up under my chin, and rain....settling the dirt and dust, and washing things clean.

And I'm powerless over that too, darn it. Patience and time will change it. Meanwhile, I have a life to live, one day at a time.

I am grateful for friends and for birthdays -- we celebrated another birthday in our little neighborhood circle this weekend, full of good food, good talk and laughter, and blessings. It is good to mark the years like this -- with people you care about and who care about you. That is truly the blessing of aging, to find that and cherish it. I hope my actions reflect how much I care about these people, and how important they are to me.

And life goes on today...another day, one day at a time. I am grateful for whatever it brings me, for I am still here to experience it.

1 comment:

conwict said...

Googling 12-step jargon because I am attempting to de-indocrinate myself, I came across your post and was particularly stricken by:

I want it to be better. I want it NOW. (or in the near future...) I want progress.

If you are "off" drugs and alcohol, please accept that you ARE better.

Don't accept the doublespeak 12-step propaganda that addiction is somehow a "moral disease." I too got sucked in and mainly stayed because of the promises that I would "relapse and die" if I left.

Powerlessness as a doctrine is terrible and self-defeating.

If you attend 12-step for depression or some other ailment, please realize that spiritual faith healing does not work for real mental disorders...

I urge you to check out www.rational.org. You don't have anything to lose, and 12 step will still be waiting for you when you get back. If you go back you can keep chanting the mantras of 12-steppers: I'm powerless, I must take moral inventory, I need a sponsor, I have to live life one day at a time*...

*Not a bad doctrine if you take it at face value, but to most 12-steppers it means "Don't say you'll be clean a week from now or a year from now or (GOD FORBID) the rest of your life. Just say you'll be clean today."

How is that conducive to recovery?

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