Home and Away

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Do you get out much in winter? Do you find yourself wishing you could?

I am pretty much housebound in winter. My reasonings are pretty simple. I have to be careful not to slip or fall thus breaking bones. I also tend to have worsening of pain after going out into the cold. I have raynauds too so I am more vulnerable to the cold. If you add in the migraines from the whole hot to cold, well, you can see why I am reluctant to go out.

I am fortunate in that I can maintain my spiritual health by phone and visits from those in the congregation. When it is time for my meetings, I call in and I can listen in and it feels like I am there. It is a loving provision and I am grateful for it.

It is easy to get depressed during the winter, and more so because of having to stay indoors. It is important to get sunlight into your day even if only briefly. The sunshine truly brightens your spirit and helps those prone to seasonal affective disorder by giving you the needed sunlight.

I admit to not opening the curtains much here but it is because if the sun is too bright, it can trigger a migraine. It’s a catch 22 for me so I try to dampen down the brightness so I can have the needed sunshine, just not too strongly.

I hope you all are faring well this winter day. As I write this, I am looking out onto a deep carpet of glistening snow that is sparkling because of the sun shining into it. We have around five inches out there right now and more forecast for tomorrow. This has been one of the snowiest winters in recent years. I don’t mind too much since I can watch it from inside my warm home. However, if you have to go out, please be careful. Have a great day!!

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What a ride!!!

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As most people know, the Philippines were hit today by super typhoon Yolanda. This typhoon is epic in that it is the biggest typhoon in recorded history. It is frightening to think about being in the middle of the storm I should know. You see, I have family there.

My daughter-in-law contacted me early morning on Thursday to let me know what was happening. I missed her by an hour. That was the last I had heard. All day today was spent worrying and crying all the while following any news I could find.

I am so happy to report that I got word that my family, my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren are ok. Lots of rain and wind but they are ok!! Praise God!!

I need to thank all those who prayed and continue to pray for all those affected by this storm!! I know it helped. Thanks also to all my dear friends who called and wrote to me giving support during the unknown. I can handle most anything but the not knowing kills me! It helped to have dear friends rally around me to show support. I am blessed!

So it has been a wild ride today for me and my family. I hope to never repeat it.

Anniversary of Devastation

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This is the one year anniversary of a devastating tornado that virtually destroyed my family’s hometown of West Liberty, Kentucky. I was not born there, but visited it most of my childhood with my grandparents on weekends when they took me “down home”. It is the “home” of my heart. Some family still live there. When I think of home, I think of this town.

Here are my thoughts on the anniversary of this terrible tragedy:

I still haven’t been to West Liberty since the tornado hit one year ago. I tear up just thinking about everything being changed. I have so many happy memories of it from my childhood and adulthood and in my mind it will stay the same. However, the reality will hurt once I see all the changes. So many affected. So much loss.

I know though, that this town is made of things much stronger than bricks and wood. Its heart is strong and its people stronger. The changes will hurt, yes, but the spirit of the town, it’s people, will remain strong and vital. That’s just how West Liberty is. It’s what I love most about this town that I call “home”.

It’s people will rebuild with that pioneer spirit that it was originally built with. It will be new, but it won’t. The people have not changed, just the buildings. I am proud to call West Liberty my “down home” !!!

Families and Alcoholics

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When you live in a home with an alcoholic, it can be a day to day walk on eggshells, wondering if today is the day they will lash out at you and belittle you in an attempt to deflect the real problem which is them and their addiction. I found this wonderful article and thought I would share it. Please read if you have this issue. I got this from the website http://www.psychcentral.com.

 


When Family Members Protect Alcoholics

By ERIKA KRULL, MSED, LMHP

 

In families with alcoholism, emotions and priorities can get very mixed up — and not just by the alcoholic. Spouses, kids, parents, and extended family members can also get emotionally entangled with the alcoholic’s situation. Everyone has expectations and needs to be met, and in many cases the alcoholic falls short. When everyone gets accustomed to living with an intense emotional situation, feelings start taking on way too much importance.

The Problems

Family members:

  • Don’t want to lose their relationship with the alcoholic. Some family members don’t put pressure on an alcoholic because they don’t want to be abandoned. They would rather keep that person in their life instead of possibly losing them altogether. Rather than talk about alcohol rehabor tell the alcoholic their true feelings about the problem, they play it safe and avoid the truth. 

    It is understandable that others may want to stay connected to the alcoholic. But the family member makes their choice because of what they want to keep, not because of what might be better for the alcoholic.

  • Don’t want to rock the boat. Going against the grain in an alcoholic family could make someone a hot target. If one person tries to speak the truth about an alcoholic and put up boundaries, that person quickly can become the black sheep. Family members often will air out the truth-teller’s dirty laundry; whatever positive standing they might have within the family could be knocked down. Rumors and negativity may even spread beyond the family group. If that’s the price for helping an alcoholic family member, why would anyone do it? It takes courage to stand up to an entire family, and many people aren’t sure they have it.
  • Don’t want to be isolated. It’s bad enough that a person giving tough love to an alcoholic family member may get harassed — the breach of family rules may be enough to cause relatives’ rejection. When your alcoholic cousin Jimmy asks for money and you refuse him, you make a wise decision. But you also risk your overprotective grandma putting a black mark against your name. In her eyes, you did something wrong, not Jimmy.Grandma also may influence other family members to isolate you. If you feel this potential isolation and loneliness is too much for you to bear, you may decide to give in to Jimmy’s money requests to stay connected to the family.
  • Don’t see the harm in protecting and rescuing the alcoholic. Some people may truly believe they are helping their loved one by rescuing them. Family members hate to see the alcoholic so upset about his or her circumstances. They give money, shelter, food, or whatever the alcoholic might need at the moment. It may make the family feel better that the alcoholic isn’t suffering as much because of their help. However, it’s the suffering that can make an alcoholic realize how much he or she needs to turn his or her life around.

The Solutions

Family members should:

  • Give compassion and keep firm boundaries. Setting boundaries has nothing to do with being mean. Having compassion does not mean lacking backbone. You can say “no” with a gentle look in your eyes and with a caring tone of voice. You can say “I love you, and because of that I won’t be giving you money right now.” You can tell an alcoholic that when he or she is clean and sober, you would love to have a visit. 
  • Present clear choices and hold to them. It’s one thing to give ultimatums and choices to an alcoholic relative. Holding your ground is much harder. When you tell someone you won’t be giving them any more money or a place to stay, you need to hold to that line 100 percent. If you give in just one time, you will undermine your entire strategy. Alcoholics need to feel the full amount of stress for their troubles just like everyone else. If they are bailed out all the time, they don’t face the full responsibility of their lifestyle. When they have to fall and stumble on their own, they have a better chance of seeing why they really need to change.
  • Provide information about good rehab options and addiction resources. By now, it may seem like there isn’t really much you can do to help an alcoholic relative. Thankfully, that isn’t true. An alcoholic really needs good information about alcohol treatment and support groups in the area. You can find lots of information online, in the phone book, and in newspapers. Gather your information and write down a few good choices. Hand it to the alcoholic you intend to help and tell them how much you care when you do it. Do not be surprised if the person scoffs at the idea of alcohol rehab, gets mad at you, or gives you an excuse. He or she may reject what you have to say publicly, but look at the list in private.
  • Be prepared to lose the relationship. Your alcoholic relative may be very upset with your firm boundaries and alcohol rehab information. He or she may say “I “hate you,” “you don’t really love me,” or “I want nothing to do with you.” It’s also possible that the alcoholic may act on these words and stick to them for some time. That can be a painful thought for many people trying to help alcoholic relatives. The thing families fear most after anxious months or years of no contact is hearing that their loved one died.It takes a lot of guts to keep a firm, loving boundary, give information, or even set up an intervention. Talk to a rehab counselor or AA support group leader to get support and guidance. You never know how the alcoholic in your family will respond to your rational but caring approach.

Offering Help to an Alcoholic

The Mayo Clinic has a comprehensive webpage describing alcohol dependence and what generally can be expected from alcohol treatment. The Alanon/Alateen website also has good information about their support groups for family members and friends of alcoholics. Also, contact a local alcohol treatment center in your area to understand how you can truly help an alcoholic family member.

Starting Over at 52

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Life can take strange twists and turns when we least expect it. You can be plugging along thinking all is well and then something happens that not only opens your eyes to the truth, but also moves you to change course. This is my new reality. I am living with my mother in her guest room because I had to leave my home situation. I have my kitty cat here with me and am trying to find a place to live. Unfortunately, that is going to be an issue. I cannot work anymore and I have a very limited budget since I live on ssdi. Basically I will probably end up in an area that is dangerous because I cannot afford much more. I like to eat and get my meds so I have to work this out so I can do that.

I never expected to be living with my mom at 52. I thought I would be getting ready to retire (before I had to quit working). I have rolled with the punches that life has thrown at me and always look for the positives. There is a sadness this time. You see, I love my husband. I did not want to leave. It was hard to do. However, on reflection, I have had issues all around me that I chose not to see. You know, living with your head in the sand. Well, my eyes have opened wide and I see everything with a clarity that was missing prior. So, now what can I do? Stay tuned… I do not know but I am sure it will be changes I did not anticipate. Hopefully I can grow into a better person who has a frugal yet rewarding life left to me from this point forward. We will see…

hmm, I wonder …

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Have you ever sat down and thought, “I wonder…” and let your thoughts take flight? I have. I like to think things like, “I wonder what would happen if I were not sick” or “I wonder what my grandchildren will be like when they are adults?”. Wondering about things is perfectly normal and can actually help you out if you use them to objectively look at things from a variety of angles.

These musings help me to get through the tough days when I cannot do anything. They sustain me when I am low. They lift me up in my imaginings of the future and hope for peace and love. Ok so some are good and some are not so good but it is the hope of what can be that makes you follow onward each and every day.

When you woke up this morning what kind of day did you expect? Did it meet your expectations? Do you see things in a positive manner or do you expect the worst when you wake up?

I heard a story about a family who moved to a new area and went to the church and asked one of the members what kind of people attended there. The man replied with a question. He said, “What were the people like in your last congregation?”. The family replied that they were not friendly and seemed like they could care less  about others in the congregation. The man then told them, “It is like that here too”. That same day another new family arrived and asked this same man the same question about what the people were like who attended there, and he replied the same as he had with the other family. He asked them, “What were the people like in your last congregation?. This family replied that the congregation had been friendly, caring and generous with their love. The man then told them, “It is like that here too”. 

How could this man say these things about the same congregation? Well, it depended on the perceptions of the new families, you see. Obviously, the first family had negative impressions and perceptions before they even met the congregation so it was pretty good thought that they would find fault in the congregation no matter what happened. 

Now, the second family has a positive attitude about life in general and know that God‘s servants are not perfect. Due to this attitude, they look for the good qualities in the congregation and not the negatives. That is what they would find in the new congregation as well, kind people who live as Christ-like as they are able in this time of the end we live in.

Now, a question to ask yourself is which family am I like? Am I a negative person or a positive one? How do I view those in my congregation? Do I always try to find the imperfections in those around me or do I look for positive attributes, knowing that we are all sinners and struggle to live Godly lives in the face of Satan’s world?

It is something to think about for sure…food for thought…