Making My Own Happiness

27 Jul

This post will probably be a mishmash of lots of things.  First, I realize that even though I posted twice yesterday I never mentioned what I did for myself.  The answer is that I dressed up for absolutely no reason.  I wore a pretty floral dress, did my hair and make-up, and put on my pearls.  I wore these adorable new high-heeled Crocs I have that are brown with pink insoles.  I felt gorgeous all day.  Now if only I could find my sparkly silver nail polish!

Today I’m not sure what I’m going to do for myself.  I already downloaded the Thompson Square CD (actually MP3), and have been listening to it at my desk and in my car.  I will be sharing my current obsession with you later in this post.  I also officially put in for a vacation week today.  I will be taking a full week to do nothing except relax, have fun, and take care of myself.  I’m planning a haircut, possibly a new tattoo, plenty of sleeping-in, and maybe a shopping trip or day adventure somewhere.  It’s Friday, though, so I’m going to do at least one more thing for myself today.  🙂

This week I have started realizing the real value in focusing on me.  This past Saturday I went to my first ever S-Anon meeting.  It was a really great experience.  In our area SA and S-Anon meet at the same time in the same location.  The Saturday morning meeting is one that my husband has decided to go to, and last week I made the leap and decided to go along.  Since starting Codependent No More I have a completely different perspective on myself.  It shined a light on the fact that I have plenty to work on, too.

So, back to last Saturday.  The SA meeting seemed to be pretty packed judging by the number of men I saw coming into the building and slipping into the room where Mr. Mess went.  They all seemed to be fairly early, too.  Yet, here I was, the lone woman.  We were pretty early ourselves, so I wandered down the hall to a table with information and brochures.  It seems like this place has a group, 12-step meeting for everything.  Everything, I tell you!  They have SA, S-Anon, AA, Al-Anon, Overeaters Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous (never seen that one before), Gambling Anonymous, and maybe even a few others that I can’t remember.

Anyway…  The scheduled time of the meeting 9:30 am quickly approached, then passed with no other women appearing.  I was fairly certain I had the right room, and I knew I had the right place and time since I was staring right at the schedule on one of the flyers.  There was really only one entrance, so I was also pretty confident I didn’t miss anyone.  Conveniently, the number for the group contact person was on said flyer.  I gave her a call at that number, and the answering machine listed another number (her cell) as the best place to reach her.  I called that, and a cheerful woman answered and quickly assured me that she was in the parking lot, and she just caught sight of a few other women walking in.  Leave it to women to be fashionably late for their own support group!

Sure enough, within a few seconds two women walked in.  We made our way to the designated room (the one I thought it was), and quickly turned on the A/C to try and combat the humid stickiness in the air.  Not too long after a third woman appeared.  It was the one I had talked to on the phone.  We started chatting a bit as everyone got settled.  Funny enough, I wasn’t the only newbie.  There was one other first-timer in the room as well.

Since there were just as many newcomers as old-timers at this meeting, they decided to do a welcome meeting.  They didn’t have any extra white books with them, but I had brought my own 12 steps and the women were very willing to share for readings.  Another lady came in during the initial introduction and reading of the 12 steps and 12 traditions.

I won’t bore you with all of the minute details, but I will say that everything really resonated with me.  Some of the readings had some hard truths that I will have to dig into more before I really know how I feel, but overall it was a comfortable, uplifting experience.  Each of the women shared some of their story, what brought them there, how long they have been in recovery, where they are on their personal journey, and that sort of thing.  Their stories all touched some part of my experience.  The other newbie was in tears basically the entire time.

Another woman showed up about half-way through, and shared her story as well.  Both of us first-timers also shared, although we didn’t have to.  Everyone was extremely supportive.  I could tell immediately that this was a group of women who wouldn’t let each other get caught up with the addict.  Crying, anger, and other emotions are definitely welcomed, but wallowing, blaming, and focusing on the sexaholic instead of ourselves is a no-no.  No one really had to say that, it was just the vibe in the room.  We are here for us.  We can’t change them.  But we can strengthen ourselves, set boundaries, decode our codependent behavior, and change our own patterns.  It was empowering.

I got a list of other women in the program with their email, phone numbers, and whether they text or not.  I supplied them with all of my information.  At the end there were hugs all around.  I didn’t know these women, but already I felt connected.  They can understand me.  They are me, in some ways.  All it took was one meeting, and I know this is where I belong.  I am already encouraged that I will be going with another person to their first meeting on Monday.

I was resistant to the idea that there was anything I needed to do, since this is “his problem.”  Now I know differently.  I know that there are things I can do – for me.  To get healthy.  To have a better response.  To feel complete, worthy, and lovable.  To stop making the same bad choices, to get off the roller-coaster, to feel at peace.  I can do it.  I also read something yesterday that I understand in a way I couldn’t have at the beginning of this process:

“I know now that I can’t choose to love or not love DH [dear husband] but I can choose to have him in my life or not.”

It’s true.  I don’t have control over what he does.  I don’t have control over his commitment to me.  I don’t have control over whether he cheats on me again.  I don’t have control over whether he lies to me.  I also don’t have control over the fact that I love him.  It’s just a fact at this point.  I do, however, have control over whether I accept his behavior and allow it in my life.  Everything else is up to me – my happiness, my boundaries, my self-esteem, my mental and physical health.  He can’t control those things, either.

So, today I am feeling encouraged and inspired.  I am smiling, tapping my foot, and jamming to wonderful music right now.  That is how I want to go through life.  Speaking of fantastic music, I promised earlier that I would share the song I can’t stop singing along to all day.  Here’s the video:

And here are the beautiful lyrics that are really speaking to me today:

Tryin’ to live and love
With a heart that can’t be broken
Is like tryin’ to see the light
With eyes that can’t be opened

I think I am finally realizing this.  I have to put my heart out there to possibly be broken again, no matter what course my life takes. 

I’ll let you look inside me
Through the stains and through the cracks
And in the darkness of this moment
You see the good in that

I have just as many issues and problems.  They aren’t the same because we have taken different paths to get here.  I have to be just as open about my stains and cracks, and work on mine.

We may shine, we may shatter
We may be pickin’ up the pieces here on after
We are fragile, we are human
We are shaped by the light we let through us
But we break fast ’cause we are glass

True and very profound.  We are shaped by the light we let through us, so I’m going to let as much light through me as possible.  I’m going to stay positive.  I’m going to remind myself that I am human.

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20 Responses to “Making My Own Happiness”

  1. leanne356 November 9, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Wow, I found your blog today through someone else’s blog. And, what I have read on here has really blown me away!

    I love what you are saying about working on yourself and the messages about not blaming and pointing fingers etc. I have a situation with an on going cheating husband – (various forms/medias) and we (him and I) would say he has an addiction. We have just
    started couples Councelling to try and get to the ‘why’ of his issues and help us move forward as a couple. I have been a little unsure of how much this will actually help but I’m willing to give it a go. I’m really at the end of my threshold for putting up with the pain he brings to the marraige so I’m hoping it works. But, in all honesty I have been approaching it with a frame on mind that is full of blame towards him! I can’t help it but now I’m realising it’s probably not helpful, though I also think that if he would just stop being selfish and take responsibility for himself and his actions we wouldn’t be in this mess!

    • beautifulmess7 November 9, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Believe me, I know what you mean. I’m not saying you are wrong at all. They DO have a LOT of work to do. They absolutely need to take responsibility for themselves, learn to control their urges, and just stop fucking around (electronically or otherwise). Knowing my husband was like that before I met him makes it clear I did not cause his issues.

      At the same time, it also means I chose a broken man. I picked him. I ignored my gut enough to marry him. Once I knew for sure and demanded he get help, I also kept doing unhealthy things myself – like yelling (which accomplished nothing), threatening without following through, checking up on him obsessively, and over-focusing on his problems (which I can’t change) instead of the things I can control – myself and my responses.

      It’s a hard road, and it may ultimately lead to divorce. I will feel confident that I have done everything I can at that point, though. I will also know that I was true to myself.

      • leanne356 November 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

        Yeh thats what I think too, I want to know I have done everything within my power to help move things forward and make our marraige work, I too knew about my husbands problems (on the phones and computers) before marrying him. But, in my defense I was really young and never understood the depth of what it meant about him… But boy have I came to understand that what he does has notjing to do with what I do or don’t do, I have no control over it whatsoever, that side of things is all down to him. Letting go of that is such a double edged sword; on one hand its a huge relief to know it’s not my fault in some way, but on the other is the passing over of control, particularly to someone who has trained me not to trust him… That’s the biggest part, trying to build trust out of nothing… As someone elses said, one day at a time…

        • beautifulmess7 November 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

          It’s actually worse than building trust out of nothing… it’s building trust out of negative trust (distrust). It’s like trying to sculpt a hill out of a hole in the ground. There is so much work to get to nothing (ground zero) that it is harder than just learning to trust a stranger (let’s say) where there is no trust there to begin with. I’m not sure how to get there…

          One day at a time, one step at a time. Right now my focus is on making myself healthier. It is on finding out why I made those choices. I didn’t know the extent of things either when I married him. I did know about one of his online affairs, but not what it meant about him as a person, about his patterns, about the compulsions and depths of depravity… I didn’t know that he had other affairs. He said it was a short term, one time thing, he was incredibly apologetic, he said he would never do anything like that again, he cried, threw up, and acted truly sorry… He also said he would stop the porn stuff.

          Of course that wasn’t true. He couldn’t stop. He had slept with over 50 random women (off of internet chat rooms) when he said it was less than 10 (and that he’d never met someone online before). Of course he had spent $50K on strip clubs, not just been “a couple of times.” A healthier person wouldn’t have HAD to know all of that to know he wasn’t a good person to build a “forever” with, though. I need to figure out what pushed me to still choose him past the point where most healthy people would have bailed.

          Basically, I need to work on being healthy. I undestand that a healthy me might not want an unhealthy him. We will have to cross that bridge when we get there, though. And HE has to worry about his own mental health.

          • leanne356 November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

            Oh My, I am so sorry to hear some of the extent of the heartache you have suffered… And if it affects you like it does me, the incredable physical and mental pain, the lows and everything that comes with it. It sounds like you have come through so much and have got to a much better, healthier place now and I think you are 100% right in working on yourself and getting yourself happy, healthy and well. These people who cause so much pain, take so much away from the person they are hurting. Thats what has really frightened me this time, I had lost a baby at 4 months, I had to deliver it and organise a funeral service etc then 18 days later my husband had a night out, met someone else and began a 7 month (mostly phone sex) affair with her… It scares me to think how low he could see me go, like really low as I could possibly get, not functioning etc and just not care! This is what really woke me up and Made me think I’m giving this one last shot. A real shot. And if It doesn’t get better on a more on going permanent kind of basis I just won’t want to keep going. I’m so tired of giving everything to someone whos just so happy to take, giving very little (next to nothing a lot of the time) in return..

            • beautifulmess7 November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

              I know what you mean. I’m so sorry for your loss. That is awful. I can’t imagine how devastating and painful that would be to go through. Adding an affair on top of it adds insult to injury. I hope that you are able to take care of yourself.

              • leanne356 November 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

                Thank you. Yes I am, thankfully, my mum and sister (13 years older than me) are amazinglystrong women who have taught me so much and are always behind me. I’m eternally greatful for them both. The wings beneath my wings. X

  2. lolalately July 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    That Thompson Square song might well be speaking to my heart too. It seems you and I have something in common in that we’re learning to focus on our own happiness. Pity it’s taken me nearly 50 years, but as they say; better late than never!

    I’ll have to do some looking at S-Anon. It sounds like it has a lot to offer. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    • beautifulmess7 July 30, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      It is funny how much we all have in common when we take the time to listen to one another (or in this case read each other’s words). It really is a small world in so many ways.

  3. huperecho: to rise above July 28, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    “I think I am finally realizing this. I have to put my heart out there to possibly be broken again if I want to give this marriage a real chance. That means trusting him to do and take care of things that I’m not 100% positive yet that he will. There’s that control thing again. I just have to let it go.”

    OMG! That spoke volumes to me. I am so afraid of him breaking my heart again that I find myself sometimes afraid to move.Today I had to talk myself into just texting him good morning at work. But I did it! And then when he texted me and asked if I missed him even a little today………I hesitated to answer yes. But I did it! It’s a process and it’s something I have seen in myself the last 26 years…………..always protecting my heart from the next lie. I’m so glad you shared this!!! Blessings!

    • beautifulmess7 July 28, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      I’m glad that spoke to you. It’s been a hard realization for me. It’s good that you are teaching out in little ways. 🙂

  4. Hope July 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    I went to two therapists sessions last Monday and a SLAA meeting with him last Friday. It is encouraging to see you focusing on yourself. I know it’s hard – at least it’s very hard for me, and I’m working on it every day.

  5. hiddinsight July 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    GREAT POST!!! I am soo proud of this moment 🙂 Yay!!

    • beautifulmess7 July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      Thanks! I didn’t realize it would be that big of a deal, but I guess it really is. It’s a first step in the right direction.

      • hiddinsight July 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

        Not just for you, but for others who would have hesitations to also take this step. My husband and I would “NEVER” have gone to counselling because there was “NOTHING” wrong with us…before the affair. Do you know what I mean? It takes a much more authentic person to realize something will help. Maybe that doesn’t come across right. Getting over the hurdle was hard, but you are so glad you did. I think you will inspire others to brave the *strangers* too…!

  6. A Dog With Fleas July 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    So happy for you and that you continue to do things for yourself and your husband the same. Sounds like you both are in a really good place and I hope it continues. You deserve it!!

    • beautifulmess7 July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      What a difference a weekend can make. I will say that Retrouvaille really opened the doors of our communication and for self-reflection. I have to talk about that more later. I just keep getting caught up in everything good that is happening for me lately.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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