Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One week down

I mentioned previously that I had two weeks off for the holiday season.  One full week plus down and less than a full week to go.  The past week has been hell. H. E. L. L.  And not only because of the aforementioned Christmas marathon, but because my brain went into overdrive and started coming up with stupid thoughts about the relationship I left behind nearly seven and a half months ago. 

I was perusing the interwebs out of boredom and happened upon a girl's facebook page that I know.  This particular girl dates a friend of the ex-boyfriend.  Instead of avoiding the page like the plague (I have done my best not to put myself in situations that would tempt me to seek out information about the ex), I clicked on over and was checking out her pictures.  Instead of finding pics of her and her boyfriend that I assumed would be there, I found a pic of the ex with his new girlfriend who just happens to be the girl's younger sister.  UGH!

I was so not prepared for this discovery.  An onslaught of emotions overtook me.  I was jealous. I was angry. I was hurt. I was desperate.  I tried reaching out to a friend for comfort, but friends have their own lives and thus was unavailable to be sucked into mine.  So here I was, home alone, left to deal with this on my own.  That has never been a good thing because, like I said, I became desperate.  I cried.  I cried all day.  I sobbed.  I sobbed some more. I cried myself to sleep.

This was the eve of Christmas Eve and so it was imperative that I be presentable the next day for the beginning of the Christmas marathon.  I tried to hold back my tears but, even at the suggestion that something might be wrong, I broke down for no apparent reason.  On Christmas Eve, I awoke with puffy eyes.  I used make-up to try to mask it and I did my best to shove my emotions aside and get through, but I still cried a couple of times.

I pushed on through the next few days even though with every moment of silence came thoughts of him.  I began to believe that I was missing him.   I would draft letters in my head of apologies. I wondered what would happen if I text him.  I thought about calling.  I came across a note he left right before I moved and we broke up.  It says, "If you get lonely or bored at your new place, just remember that I am thinking of you so you are not really alone. I love you always."  And another that said, "I miss you already".  I started wondering if he really was missing me.

This is the point where, in the past, I would act out of desperation and do some of those things. I would text him, I would call him, I would accidentally on purpose cross paths with him.  But this time, my head is control and I know I can't.

One of my best girlfriends had called me the day that I began having this breakdown and reminded me that it's ok to feel this way.  I want him to be happy in life, but I don't. I want him to find someone to make him happy, but I don't. I don't want him, but I don't want anyone else to have him.  She reminded me that it's ok to feel this way and it will eventually fade in time.  Lots and lots of time.  She also reminded me that, in the twelve years that we dated (on and off again constantly), he had never changed.  He wasn't going to change. We don't even really believe that he's capable of changing.  His lifestyle and my lifestyle did not mesh. At all.  He is super social, he likes to sit around with the guys daily and drink beer and tell the same stories fifty times over, he is ok with and wants someone to live at home with his parents with him, he is carefree and lives spontaneously.  I CANNOT do any of that.  I am not social. I hate sitting around and making small talk and telling stories.  I am very independent and I like to make plans and keep them and be able to depend on my partner for that too.  And it isn't fair for either of us to ask the other to change the way they are for the other person.

I have to keep telling myself that I did this for him too.  I know he couldn't have been happy either.  He was comfortable and content having me in his life, but he couldn't have been truly happy. We hardly spent any time together (which could have been fine with him as he liked to be with the boys).  I hate his hobbies, he hated mine.  I told him that he needed to find someone who actually enjoyed doing the things that he liked to do because I didn't.  And even when I tried to show interest in the things he enjoyed, he still wouldn't include me.  I tried every which way I could think of.

Suffice it to say, for the first time ever, my brain is winning over my emotions.  And I'm sure all of my family and friends who have encouraged me to make the break and repeatedly told me, as patiently and kindly as they could, that this relationship wasn't the right thing for me and I deserved so much more in life, will be happy to hear that.  Though I am still troubled with thoughts and holding back tears now and then, I know that I need to stay on the path that I am on.

I wonder how it is that I can be so distraught over this right now and yet my life is so calm and peaceful right now.  That is something I have been striving for.  Maybe it is old tendencies taking over.  As an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA) or a co-dependent, I have a tendency to recreate the chaos of the life I knew growing up.  Is it possible that I am inadvertently creating this emotional turmoil in my life because my life is so calm?

All I can figure right now, is that I want to push through the rest of this week so I don't have time to just sit around and think.  Getting back to work will give me something to focus on.  I'm tired of crying and I'm tired of being sad and worrying about other people and if what I have done to them is somehow detrimental to their emotional well-being.  I am ready to keep moving forward.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Higgledy-Piggledy, Take II

Ah, 'tis the week of Christmas and what a crazy week it is. Currently, I'm sitting at home in my pj's...still (it's nearly 11 am), thinking of all that needs to be done during my two week hiatus from work. Two weeks off sounds like a great thing (and I did it to myself by tacking on three days to make it a full two weeks), but it is a time where bad habits will build up making going back to work the biggest drag ever! Two weeks is also overwhelming to me. I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why I get so overwhelmed by the simplest things, but I do. So much to do and so much time, yet very little will likely get done.

The biggest project is my computer room. It's piled with boxes. Boxes of heaven knows what. Computer stuff, reading books, old school books that I should have returned but thought I'd use some day (um...yeah), CDs, important paperwork, clothes, blankets, stored Christmas decor, pictures, baby stuff (my baby book and the like), trophies and medals, etc. What to do with all this stuff, I have no idea. Do I throw it out? I don't know. I do know that I need to figure out what to keep, how to store it and make space because this also needs to be my work out room. Oh yeah! My mom gave me an early Christmas present - a treadmill. I'm so excited! I've asked for one for about three years now. It's used, but it works great.


Christmas is going to be crazy this year. Six Christmas gatherings in four days. Imagine. All the driving and socializing. I'm going to need two days to recuperate. Being an introvert makes all these gatherings, even with my own family, stressful. When I was a kid, I used to get so worked up about it that I would spend the day laying on my grandma's bed with a tummy ache from all the anxiety. It's not that bad anymore, but it still makes me anxious.

Christmas has also been very expensive this year. In an attempt to get organized, I contacted my dad's side of the family about two weeks before Thanksgiving to see how we were going to handle Christmas this year. This side of the family seems to have a tough time getting together, always putting it off and sometimes we don't have our gathering until January or later. This year, however, my niece will only be home for a short time so, in order to have us all there, I thought we should try to organize early. Well, I got some hemming and hawing from a few folks and never received a real answer. So, I dropped it. I figured if these adults can't decide or give me an answer, I am not going to worry myself over it. Then, of course, a week and a half before Christmas, it becomes an issue. Now, suddenly, we are scrambling for a date and four people are tacked onto my Christmas shopping list. Now, I'm up to fifteen people. I am one person buying for fifteen people and I don't even have a husband or children. Ugh...how does this happen?


I have felt so disorganized this year. Usually, I make a list of folks I have to buy for along with ideas for each and then decide where I can get these items, plan my route and go. I mean, I HATE shopping. I hate the rude people, screaming children who don't want to be there either, standing elbow to elbow in an aisle not big enough for one cart let alone eight, I get hot which makes me more cranky, waiting in long lines and noticing that not all the lanes are even open which makes me wonder who the heck is in charge. I just hate all of it even when it's not Christmas. So I try to do as few trips as possible and grab and go quickly. Not this year. I haven't been able to decide on what to get people. I've taken My Friend with me a few times and, well, I prefer to shop alone mostly. It's just been crazy. I think, yesterday, I finally got everything, but I'm afraid to go check for sure because I don't want to have to go shopping again. Ugh.


On a totally different topic...
When I moved to the new town, I was leaving things behind. An old boyfriend in particular. I didn't dwell on in much. It had been coming for some time. It wasn't the first time we had broken up, but I am determined that it will be the last. As much as I love and care about him, I also know that we weren't meant to be. He was not capable of having the kind of relationship that I wanted or needed and I was not capable of having the relationship he wanted or needed. My mind still knows this and I pray that he can find someone who can have that relationship. There isn't a chance in hell that I ever want to go back to that. Still, sometimes I miss the special little things.

I miss the way he looked at me with so much feeling in his eyes and told me so softly that I was so pretty. I miss how, regardless of what we were fighting over, he would come to me, he would come first to make up, make me laugh, make it all better. I miss the way he'd hug me. Meaningfully and for a long time if I needed it. I miss watching Animal Planet or Discovery Channel and having him explain to me all about wild life and living in the wild, far beyond the explanations of either of those shows. He is so smart in that way. If the world were to go to hell today, he'd be the person you'd want to hide with. He could out-survive the toughest in places far beyond the imagination.

What I don't know is why seven months later these things have come to mind.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More about being Green (the color)

Resource:  PositivielyMary.com 

True Communication with True Colors
Greens for the most part, communicate for the purpose of gaining or sharing information. During a conversation, their attention is usually focused on the matter at hand, not on the relationship.
o Logical and Objective
o Includes Facts and Information
o Big Picture, Conceptual
o Questioning, Critiquing
o Wry Sense of Humor

o Allow Them Time to Ponder
o Skip the "small talk"
o Avoid Redundancy
o Give Big Picture or Point first, then fill in details if asked
o Don't misinterpret their need for info as interrogation

Time Management Styles Can Show Your True Colors
o View time in an objective orderly way
o See the whole picture as well as the individual parts.
o Are good at creating strategies for completing individual tasks according to priority
o Want to make decisions based on facts; need time to review all the information

o Wasting time with idle chit-chat
o Deciding without enough information
o Having to rush to produce something to meet another's timeline
o Being forced to spend time on something that does not make sense to them

Showing Our True Colors Over Time
This may sound like strange advice at first, but it works. Greens have a tendency to get so involved in their work or task at hand that they can forget their surroundings. A smile opens up lines of communication and creates rapport, which will save you time accomplishing your goal if it involves others.

Put off procrastination.
Pay attention to how much time you are spending researching information to make the perfect decision or take the precise action. Go for it! You may want to argue the point, but you do not have to be totally competent in everything you do.

Find diplomatic ways to prevent others from infringing on your time.
Set up a system for letting others politely know when it is ok to approach you and when you need your time.

Since it often takes about three weeks to break a habit, give yourself at least that long to adapt a more effective pattern. Choose one time management habit you would like to change and decide now to change it!

True Colors Healthy Holiday Help

Avoid Packing on the Pounds by Showing Your True Colors
GREEN: Diet Thinkers
The Diet Thinker values knowledge and accomplishment. She is a life-long learner who strives to understand the world. The Diet Thinker needs comprehension and information to realize and maintain her weight-loss and fitness goals.

A problem often faced by the Diet Thinker is that her great analytical ability means she can find the information she wants to find, anywhere…including the information needed for the perfect excuse! For example, she will justify eating large quantities of potato chips at holiday party because the potassium content of the chips is higher than that of a banana. The solution? Instead of using obscure, extreme-logic as an excuse for not-so-healthy indulgences, she should do what she does best—seek knowledge and understanding from a variety of reliable sources. Then, once she sees that good health is the real goal, she will have an easier time making decisions about her health based on useful facts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Color me Green

My office recently participated in a retreat, of sorts. In an attempt to learn to better communicate with each other and utilize our strengths, we took part in a True Colors seminar. This is the second time I have taken part in the True Colors evaluation. The first time, I came out as Blue. This time, Green as shown below. It's amazing to see how we change and evolve as people.

Color Lingo Communication Quiz
The GREEN Approach –

When communicating, Greens tend to think before they speak. They like to analyze what they have just heard, explore the many ways they could respond and choose the reply that most accurately and pertinently expresses their thoughts on the matter. Their goal is to obtain information so they can figure out, fix, improve, or invent something as a result.

To learn more about the GREEN communication style go to:


Have fun!

Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I lied

Photo courtesy Century 21

I said that I was not participating in Black Friday shopping madness.  But...I lied.  I didn't intentionally lie. I had not planned on shopping at all.  I just happened to be online Friday morning making lunch plans with a friend and discovered two items at JCPenney that I just had to get because they were so dang cheap.

One was a cooks Non-stick Electric Griddle for My Friend.  You see, My Friend is a cook in a restaurant so he is used to cooking on a big, flat grill.  When he cooks at my place, using a frying pan is completely foreign to him.  We talked about getting one of these griddles at WalMart when we were out shopping one day, but decided not to spend the money right then.  When I saw the griddle in the Penney's ad for $12.88 (with $10.00 mail-in rebate), I couldn't pass it up.  Even if it's a piece of crap that doesn't work, it's only $12.88 out the window.

I also picked up the cooks 5-in-1 Power Blender w/attachment.  It's a knock off of the Magic Bullet that is all over tv.  I'm not one to buy into infomercial products*, but I've always wanted one of these.  It, too, was only $12.88 (with $10.00 mail-in rebate) and couldn't be passed up.

What can I say?  I'm a sucker.

I didn't spend any time looking around the store, however. I went it, checked the lines to see if they were too long, grabbed what I wanted, hopped in line, and got out of there.  It wasn't bad although there was a little girl who had lost her family (or vice versa) and I felt so bad for her.  She was crying and so sad. It broke my heart.

I have to add that my Friday experience was not nearly as bad as my excursion to Target on Saturday.  Crazy!  I wasn't even there to do holiday shopping. I only went in because I am trying to unpack more boxes (that I've ignored for months) and organize my computer room and I needed some storage bins/organizing thingies.  What a zoo!  I didn't stand in line too long, but the aisle ways were overly crowded and there were crying, tantrum-having children everywhere. Never again.

*Ok, ok. I promise to stop fibbing. I've been wanting one of those GT Express 101 thing-a-majiggers too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Understanding myself

Near the holidays, I tend to struggle with old behaviors. Right now, I’m feeling the Holiday Blues. Usually around Christmas, something goes really, really wrong and I spend an entire day crying. This year, it happened right before Thanksgiving and, though I did not spend an entire day crying and vowed to not let it get me down, I am still feeling a bit blue. I am anxious about how this will affect the Christmas holiday and how it will affect relationships with other members of my family. In an attempt to try to understand and resolve my sadness, I am revisiting some of the characteristics I learned about in counseling.

What: Common Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)
Source: PsychPage
Highlights: Items that describe me
**My own assertions relating to the topic.**

Adult children of alcoholics appear to have characteristics in common as a result of being raised in an alcoholic home. Review the characteristics listed. If you identify with these characteristics then seek appropriate sources of support to understand and resolve them. You will find many self-help books on this subject. Additionally, there is Adult Children of Alcoholics 12-Step self-help community meeting, individual therapy, and group therapy facilitated by a therapist.

Common Characteristics
Isolation, fear of people, and fear of authority figures.

• Difficulty with identity issues related to seeking constantly the approval of others.

Frightened by angry people and personal criticism.

• Have become an alcoholic yourself, married one, or both. **(Dated one or two or three.)** A variation would be the attraction to another compulsive personality such as a workaholic. The similarity is that neither is emotionally available to deal with overwhelming and unhealthy dependency needs.

• Perpetually being the victim and seeing the world from the perspective of a victim.  **I may do this, though I am unaware of it. I have tried to conscious of this in an attempt to not do it.**

An overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Concerned about the needs of others to the degree of neglecting your own wants and needs. This is a protective behavior for avoiding a good look at yourself and taking responsibility to identify and resolve your own personal difficulties.  **Though I have attempted to be cognizant of this behavior in an attempt to correct it, sometimes it just comes so naturally.**

Feelings of guilt associated with standing up for your rights. It is easier to give into the demands of others.

An addiction to excitement. Feeling a need to be on the edge, and risk-taking behaviors.  **Awareness of this behavior was a huge discovery for me. I believe I have since corrected it. My counselor said that once I experienced calm, I will never want to go back to crazy. I think she's right. I avoid crazy like the plague.**

A tendency to confuse feelings of love and pity. Attracted to people that you can rescue and take care of.  **Many, many relationships in my life have been based on how I can take care of someone else and rescue them from themselves.  I hope that this is an area that has improved a little bit in my life.  Sometimes, though, I need someone on the outside looking in for affirmation.**

Avoidance of feelings related to traumatic childhood experiences. Unable to feel or express feelings because it is frightening and/or painful and overwhelming. Denial of feelings.  **At this point, I barely remember my childhood (which I understand is common for ACOA as well).  The parts I do remember, I cannot associate any sort of feeling with.  On occasion, when something happens that is similar or resembles a traumatic event from my childhood, I experience overwhelming feelings that relate to that childhood event.  I often cannot identify what the feeling is though.**

Low self-esteem. A tendency to judge yourself harshly and be perfectionistic and self-critical.  **This I do not tend to see myself.  Even when I feel that I have been feeling my best (or the best I can remember feeling), my counselor would often say that certain behaviors are related to low self-esteem.**

Strong dependency needs and terrified of abandonment. Will do almost anything to hold onto a relationship in order to avoid the fear and pain of abandonment.  **Yep!  As much as I'd like to say that I have overcome this, I have not.**

• Alcoholism is a family disease which often results in a family member taking on the characteristics of the disease even if they are not alcoholics (para-alcoholics). Dysfunctional relationships, denial, fearful, avoidance of feelings, poor coping, poor problem solving, afraid that others will find out what you are really like, etc.

Tendency to react to things that happen versus taking control and not being victim to the behavior of others or situations created by others.  **I am a huge reactor.  I think I have worked on this some.**

A chameleon. A tendency to be what others want you to be instead of being yourself. A lack of honesty with yourself and others.  **I try, but conforming has been so a huge part of my life. I have made some progress in this area, but occasionally catch myself accommodate, adjusting or harmonizing.**
Looking at this list is a bit scary. I would like to think I have made more progress, but I fear that I have not made as much progress as I had hoped.