healthy dependency or unhealthy addiction?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 20, 2015 by jengrabesculpture

Taking some huge baby steps in the path of recovery. I had a huge awakening this morning as a I read in the very popular book by Melody Beattie “The New Codependency”.  It turns out that most recovering alcoholics and addicts (of which I am one) have codependency  underneath.  It caused me to question if I am addicted or pseudo addicted. I don’t need to drink and I have flattered myself for thinking that I didn’t have a drinking problem. When I attended AA meetings , I did not feel as if I belonged there, and felt more at home at the al Anon meetings.Eventually it led to me realizing there was a spiritual problem that I was grappling with. I realized I was drinking and taking drugs to deal with emotional pain caused by codependent behaviors that hurt. It looks like I am drinking alcoholically , and drug seeking, but I am drinking or using drugs to medicate pain that really hurts. When the pain is adequately medicated or stops , my drug seeking and alcoholic drinking stops too. The easiest way to decide is if we can stop with no problem. If we can, we are not addicted. This is how to tell if we have a healthy dependency or an unhealthy addiction, according to Dr. Forest Tennant an addiction and pain management specialist who understands codependency and chronic illnesses: a) healthy dependency on anything improves while addiction destroys our quality of life and ability to function. b) loss of control accompanies addiction.

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my melancholy deepens…

Posted in art, beauty, life, love, relationships, sex, Uncategorized on June 1, 2014 by jengrabesculpture

my melancholy deepens at a time when all I wanted was to be well.  I’ve lost all sense of pride and have fallen into a deep well from which I cannot escape; nor do I want to. Once all I had was pride, now broken, I find  no mend for these shards of a shattered cistern. Is this what it feels like to be truly free? Where is my happiness? From whence this deep sadness, this prolonged grieving for a life not lived? I have lived, I have enjoyed myself, is this a price that must be payed now for having felt happiness?  Was I ever truly happy? Once by your side under the oaks I felt a deep and tender happiness…we shared a brief moment  and time stood still…  a time of secret ecstasy. Two hearts that beat as one I was so warm in your presence and  so accepted let me be buried under those same oaks and know the peace it is just to be near you in death as well as life.

 “It’s not for me to say you’ll love me, it’s not for me to say you’ll always care…as far as I can see this is heaven and speaking just for me it’s ours to share… Perhaps the glow of love will grow with every passing day or we may never meet again, but then it’s not for me to say.”

Is the happiness that I have known all that I shall receive?  Can  more be granted when I have frittered so much away and taken it all for granted?  Am I missing it in my melancholy?  I have not learned nor have i entered into the gift to be content in want and plenty. All around me is blue, my pictures my colors have turned to gray , ashen ghosts follow me.  Too much use of vibrant red has spoiled the canvas now the painful process of  scraping away  working back into the white and ashen ghosts of the canvas of yesterday…

my darling and the ancient Mariner

Posted in art, death, hell on January 7, 2014 by jengrabesculpture
Mervyn Peake the illustrator

Mervyn Peake the illustrator

My darling, I dreamed of you last night…I wandered up  the path dark and moving against a crowd, I slammed into many pointed obstacles projecting out from within this dark path. I said: “Someone ought to clear this path so people can get through!” I know that he overheard me , for it was his path that I spoke of. Darling why do you not want to attend the marriage supper? I am here because of you.  I found your seat with your lovely face upon the place-card. I took a photograph of your group up close . There were others following suit who watched me take the photos who wanted to memorialize the occasion.  There were others, like yourself, who chose not to attend. They are sorely missed. I searched in room after room of sweetened party drinks, but I could not find anything I wanted to drink. It was like 

“water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink”

 Could I remove this albatross from around my neck, could I but remove this curse. Could I go back before my innocence was taken. I cannot for I have seen the hoary headed ghost

“The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she, who thicks man’s blood with cold”

 I have parlayed with the enemy of souls. I have stood at the mouth of hell and I have lived to tell and what will I tell? What will be my story , of my journey and of my end? Pray this be not a prophecy but a parable that I may hear the words, that I may understand, that I may look and live. 

in the quiet…

Posted in art, friends, family, mind & spirit on January 1, 2014 by jengrabesculpture

In the quiet hours of early dawn I walked up the gravel road to the ridge to watch the sunrise fall across the Franklin Mts. It makes a lovely orange purple pink glow against the backdrop of deep rust colored rock. As I walked along I thought of younger days…days when my son was newborn and I was 20.  What would make me think of those mornings so long ago? Cold mornings when I worked harvesting grapefruits and oranges in Clermont, Fl . A hard living just to barely support our little family. The mornings were cold like this one. If I was lucky, I could afford a cup of coffee and then I could eat oranges and grapefruits till we received our daily pay and could purchase food for dinner. I didn’t even know how to cook or make coffee.  In the more southern area around Homestead,where the vegetables were being harvested,  all winter we could eat for free.  We moved wherever there was work. Like a group of ants we lived the life of foragers, out of our van or living in tenements that we would pay for daily.  A Nomadic lifestyle moving from campground to campground, sleeping in a bedroll on the ground or in the van to avoid mosquitos or fire ants.   In those days you could drive up and sleep on the beach.  Nomadic life can wear you down, but it can also make you grateful for what you have. I grew up in the suburbs of DC, and only moved once in the same town I was born in until my 18th birthday. Then I was on my way to Alaska to get as far away from home as possible.  Perhaps its the sense of adventure that lured me away from wanting a home and nesting. But one grows tired of carrying their bag from pillar to post. People that have a home know something that I do not, some great secret , or gem of truth that eludes me.  I only wanted to care for my loved ones. It is because of my benefactor that I have a warm , dry, comfy place to sleep.  It is not mine, I am a steward to care for it.  So today, this New Years Day, I am grateful for things big and small. I am grateful for beauty in the quiet early dawn, restful sleep, and for a healthy body to walk and work.  

it’s a dirty business

Posted in friends, family, love, relationships, sex on December 18, 2013 by jengrabesculpture

vintage datingOnline dating has taught me many things the first being that it is a dirty business. A great deal of dating websites are deceptive in their advertising. Once they get all of your profile information is when they inform you that you will have to pay to answer or contact any of the other persons on the site. That, my friend is the reason I have been on the only truly free dating website most of my single life. First of all, its kind of a false environment. People can be anything they want to be on the internet. I have met a few sincere people in person that I met on line in my experience. That being said, I am not jaded, as much as I am realistic in my expectations. I didn’t get a paid subscription till recently. I spent the $20 because the letters had piled up in my inbox and I was curious to read each one. I only got a subscription for one month. Just the possibility of meeting someone decent fueled my curiosity. Out of 100 items of fodder and fluff in the form of smiles, cards, and notes I was able to glean about five sincere notes of significance. I answered every card, smile and note just to say a thank you even if I wasn’t interested. It was worth it to spend twenty dollars to glean five real friendships.
I want most of all to be friends first and then I might be ready for something more!
Gone are the days when mutual attraction was a gauge for how to measure a person. In this day and age when a person can plagiarize or steal someone else’s identity with ease, as you could imagine I am guarded in my estimation of people. I solicited a background check before dating someone. All it takes is one bad experience and thereafter I proceed with caution. I say this laughing because I can laugh about it now. I am friends with many officers of the law and thanks to their expertise I have been able to avoid any possible danger. Now it just comes down to common sense in regards to getting to know someone.
The best online clubs do just that. They encourage and foster friendships. Like in real life groups are a good place to meet eligible singletons. Everyone knows someone who is single. Its a fairly safe environment to get to know someone. Girls become friends rather than competition. We help each other in our search and can recommend and keep each other safe. Without endorsing any particular club I will say that what I look for I would recommend an online dating service that acts more like a club. Real people get together off line and have an activity together. There is always a monitor in the chat room to keep things respectful. When you report someone, they are investigated by a specialist on the site and if found to be in violation of club rules are removed.
Overall it has been a positive experience even with all the romance scammers out there . As Kelly Clarkson put  it so well: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Next time I hope to talk about how to set up a decent profile, as well as cues to look for in profiles that are just out and out , “wrong”.

women and men should be friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 16, 2013 by jengrabesculpture

I think that is why women are sometimes better remaining friends with a man than a lover.  A man asks to talk to a woman, she can make herself available to talk.  What is the difference when she is in love with him or he with her?  Well there is where it gets more complicated and intimacy can be challenging.  If he is in love with her its easy I believe.  He wants to come to her , to  tell her all of his troubles and naturally so.  Now if she is in love with him I think when it comes to talking she is willing to go more than halfway to meet him.  

We all get tired sometimes and just don’t want to talk, we just want to ‘be’. Whatever that might mean to a person who needs to destress.  Some people need to be with someone and talk it out.  Tonight a friend of mine who I have been talking to for some time asked me if I was available to talk.  I said yes, and as we talked for a while, I felt the intimacy slipping and so I wanted to leave the conversation.  I see a pattern and there are silences getting more frequent between the replies. Instead of being patient and letting him continue to talk I cut him off and told him to go to bed. I failed as a friend and as a lover and I am sorry.

 

to Sigma, I say goodbye, but just for a little while

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 3, 2013 by jengrabesculpture

at 11:16 am you were born. I remember the day very well.  Your journey began with me in the month of October. I remember the morning sickness the inability to keep any solid food down. My bodies violent reaction to the the smell of anything greasy in the form of fried foods.  I lived on ramen noodles so it seemed, for the first trimester.  I did not know you would be a girl, I did not know what you would become and that your journey in life would take you so far from me, so far across the sea , to an island in the pacific called Japan.  That your choices in life would include serving in our nation’s service on the USS George Washington. My beautiful girl lent to me for just a little while.  What a lovely lady you have become in such a short span of 26 years time . Today we enjoyed a bowl of Pho with Tofu & vegetables together for lunch.  What a fitting  supper and enjoyable time together.  The gut wrenching ache I feel in my stomach at your departure is reminiscent of the time  you came into my life.  What joy, what pain, what exuberance!!!  My love stays with you always. May you be comforted in your loneliness out on the  sea with this thought.  I say goodbye, but just for a little while.Image

to Sigma

from your loving Momma