Friday, July 28, 2006

Pipecleaner Dance III

okay - this website was the most fun i've had online - i felt like a choreographer! - Pipecleaner Dance III

jim hancock: 6 for 06? how about you broke it; you bought it

jim's got a the right words, at the right time - let's get them out there so the people who need to read them do so!

jim hancock: 6 for 06? how about you broke it; you bought it

history in pharmaceutical drug ads

this is a collection of vintage ads run in medical journals. some of these are terrifying to think of the lives ruined, the addiction created and the loss of dignity taken by medicine. i know they didn't know then what we know now, but it's still such a clue into how trying to anestitize a generation from their emotions and facing their past has brought us here. fascinating.

vintage_ads: Drugs


Thursday, July 27, 2006

i'm going!

today i got a job, it's a small, casual but intriguing one and it helped me finally decide that i will be fulfilling part of my vision from "the path" workshop i participated in over 18 months ago.

what really helped me make my decision was encouragement by erin, hope, stephanie & connie. each of these women took the time to remind me of things i had either forgotten or refused to acknowledge. thank you ladies - your words were light and life to me and i am so very grateful to have your input in my world!

i'm not sure why south africa is so important, (well, neritia is there!) but it is redeeming something deep inside of me. i remember my teen years negotiating with god that i would do anything i was called to do but "please don't send me to africa"... that song by scott wesley brown (here mp3 here is you're not familiar)

here is the part of my vision i wrote in november 2005:
The mission trips I've been able to join in the past three years have been most helpful in collecting and giving voice to global stories of women of such different cultures, but similar pain. I have grown so fond of the Global Action team and have treasured each strong friendship that has built through our travels together.

Our trips to South Africa to The River Farm to visit Neritia's communal work there have been one of the highlights. Seeing those women and children learning how to live in the light is one of the greatest joys I've been given.
want to join us? we'd love it if you did!!

if anyone feels led to support me in this endeavor i would be so grateful. the cost was one of the reasons i almost considered not participating - but as grandpa joe said in charlie & the chocolate factory:
There's plenty of money out there. They print more of it every day. But that ticket? There are only five of them in the world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Run Bill Moyers For President, Seriously

OH YAH! this is brilliant!

Run Bill Moyers For President, Seriously


the emptiness i feel is not hunger - repost

i have been looking through old blog posts in preparation for the teaching time i get to give at church. i have wanted to say things for so long that narrowing it down to 'one thing' is difficult. i've been re-reading old posts to remind myself of what my burning passion really is. what is the 'one thing' i want people to walk away with?

while i was reading i came across this post - and not much has changed - so i needed to remind myself of things i had uncovered, recovered, and discovered again today. (oh, and i found out that i've been mis-counting my abstinence - i robbed myself of a whole year! i've been saying 5 1/2 years instead of 6 1/2 years!!) silly me!
up early, and pondering. i have been struggling with my food lately. haven't wanted to own it. i just so want to feel 'full'. i have a lot of triggers to this, loneliness, abandonment, unresolved issues, not being heard... but i just can't put my finger on why this need to feel full is being triggered so regularly.

when i'm at my best i'm eating 3 meals a day, one serving and allow myself a healthy snack. i can live well on that plan, i have for years. lately though i have gotten sloppy. i'm sure it hasn't helped that i moved my office to the room behind the kitchen. so i am constantly in visual range of the pantry and fridge. every time i write i have 'comfort' close by.

i know that opening up about it and sifting through it by writing is what i need to do, but i have been avoiding this because it means that when i do unlock the reason i will have the ability to stop. and i don't want to.

i'm not breaking my abstinence, but i am distorting it and ruining my serenity. instead of seeking silence or contemplative time i want to drown that out with chewing. i can be anything. baby carrots, microwave popcorn, anything. chewing makes me feel safe somehow. i hate that.

feeling full makes me feel even safer.

i hate that even more.

on october 14th, a day after my 39th birthday i will have maintained my abstinence for five years. 4 years and 12 days ago i had my last piece of birthday cake and awoke to one day at a time, step by step facing my issues and working my program. lately i am maintaining, but i've gotten really sloppy.

i know with addictions that it's never about the fix - it always goes deeper. it's not about the food, the chewing or even feeling full. it's about being empty. that hollow feeling terrifies me. when i picture myself empty i see a woman with a bird cage for a stomach, it's dark and full of cobwebs, the little birdie swing is empty, hanging there lonely. i look down into the cage where my heart and vital organs should be and i am a shell. there is nothing there. i can see past the bars of the cage at the back, but it is darkness, eerie darkness. there is a path, there is a wood, the only light comes from a small quarter moon. i echo. i am empty. i am afraid.

so i grab anything and try to stuff it in that cavern within me. it just drops out the bottom, it disappears. nothing fills it up, not things, not clothes, not food, not people. please, i know about the god shaped void. this is different. i don't know if it's about permanence or substance or emerging. i sometimes feel like i'm turned inside out. like the emergence has left me with my nerves all jangly on the outside of my body instead of the inside. i used to have all the answers, god was in a box and although i didn't like the answers it was neat and tidy.

all i know is that i've been trying to stuff this empty space full of food. it is familiar, it is comforting. it is soft. i know that sounds weird, but biting into something soft has been so comforting to me. i allow myself bread in my abstinence. i know that if i removed it from my diet that i would be better off. i don't do white bread (unless it is an occasional croissant or garlic bread, or pizza crust... see how sloppy i've gotten??). but i'm sure that if you video taped my first bite of soft bread it would look like the face of the junkie you see shooting heroin into his arm when the kick finally hits. it's not the taste, it's not even the chewing at that point. it's really about the feeling of that soft food in my mouth.

i have had oral fixations my whole life. because of the oral rape my mouth becomes my best friend, and my worst enemy. clenching my jaw locked (how i just realized i was when writing those words) became my defense against the world. that first bite of soft bread somehow makes the world feel like a safer place to be. i know it makes no sense, i know my thinking is so f*cked up here - but it's true, that's how it makes me feel.

i have lived 5 years without chocolate. i have no intention of having it this side of heaven. i'm okay with that now. but bread? oh bread has become that replacement. i am weeping, getting too close to the reasons. it hurts. it's scary, and i want to walk away. i want to change the subject.

how stupid is it that i've convinced myself that bread is going to solve my problems. make me feel whole, less empty or alone? communion always had a real, fluffy white loaf of bread. our communion service growing up was called 'the breaking of the bread'. two silver goblets filled with mogan david wine and soft chewy bread. how did something like that become my savior instead of jesus?

i know i'm all over the map here, just stream of consciousness thoughts linking together to weave through my thoughts of bread, of comfort. take eat, this is my body, broken for you. do this in remembrance of me until i come. what am i remembering. what am i linking to this feeling?

safety. security. warmth. my mother never baked a loaf of bread my whole life. this isn't a warm from the oven kind of moment. it's plastic wrapped wonder bread (btw - i jumped for joy to hear they were being forced into bankruptcy - wonder bread is the pornography of bread in my mind - no nutritional value whatsoever, and we wonder why our children weigh 100 lbs before they get out of 4th grade. my father brings wonder bread into my home and i abhor it. my children only get white bread at friend's houses.) sorry, tangent rant...

one of the things about reading other's blogs is that when someone says something so meaningful and important you honestly think you will remember it when you go to write on the subject. i don't, it all blurs together, and for my life i can't remember who wrote on emptiness, but it started me down this path. i even left a comment on their blog about how i equate the emptiness i feel with hunger. how that is so dangerous for me. i can't seem to tell the difference. it's like my brain lost that piece of equipment that can separate spiritual/social/emotional emptiness from hunger. i want it back. i know that there are tiny edges of it when my serenity is in place and i am living a clean, neat abstinence. but even then it's not nearly as strong as it is in 'normal' people.

i have used my time. i need to get my kids up and moving, ready for friday school. if you think of me today, please pray for me. i don't even know how to pray, or ask you to, but if something i wrote resonates with what you think i need, please ask god to bring that to me today. i don't want to be so sloppy. i want back what i have traded for feeling full. thank you.

the gift of hospitality

a better definition of hospitality

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


i received an email yesterday from the head of the program we start in the fall (who is also the pastor at the church we are attending). he just returned from the summer term in europe with the students and had a chance to listen to liam's teaching from a couple of weeks ago. he was so encouraging and excited. it's great to have he and his wife home. the part of the email that jumped out at me was him asking if i would consider teaching on a sunday in the fall. me. oh it's good to be involved in a place where i am a person too!

so i begin to prepare in my head. where to start? so many things i've wanted to say over 40 years? i feel like i've been granted a 'make a wish' wish. some people pick disneyland. i pick this. i literally have waited my whole life for this. it sounds insane doesn't it? but it's real and i am excited.

Monday, July 24, 2006

a clue about company-itis

as a woman in the church i have borne much shame about my lack of gifting in the area of hospitality. i wasn't raised in a home where hospitality was really practiced because of my mother's illness, so it doesn't come naturally to me.

having my inlaws here last week and managing much better than i have ever done in the past was encouraging, but by the end i was absolutely exhausted and really frustrated (ashamed) with myself for it not being stress-free and effortless like some women seem able to manage.

i have figured out one of the reasons for my 'company-itis'. being a compulsive overeater i spent years of my life obsessing over food. during the recovery i've had in the past 5+ years i have learned to set that obession aside. it's difficult to parent/housewife sometimes because of this but we all seem to manage. until company comes.

i found last week i felt like i was running a restaurant. all i did some days was cook, clean up, plan and cook again... company forces me to obsess about food again. i know that having an 'eating plan' is a healthy step in recovery for OA, and it's one that i've never mastered. it just seems to bring my mind conastantly back to food - but it's probably a lie - and once i really did it i'd probably find i thought about food much less in the long run. i just can't seem to get to a place where i take the time to plan and get organized enough for it to flow instead of always looking like work.

my father and favorite aunt will be coming in mid-august. i am now preparing for this mentally. they are much easier to host, a. because my father has lived with us and knows that i can be a bit psycho at times... and b. my aunt is an amazing cook and she will take some of the burden off of me (which liam's mom didn't do at all). but i really want to learn from last week and build on it. so i am attempting to really feel the feelings of inadequacy and shame, keep was is real, set the rest aside and learn from it all so that i can stand on-top of the experience instead of being buried by it.

hope your day finds you all well!

Dry Bones Dance: Enough is enough

i have been too overwhelmed for words, but christy iced it perfectly:

Dry Bones Dance: Enough is enough

Friday, July 21, 2006

gone be the birds when they don't want to sing...

finally! we had a wonderful time with them here - but it is SO good to have our house back to normal!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

TallSkinnyKiwi: How Your Emerging Church Can Stay in Calvary Chapel, Inc

great article on the inconsistencies the 'ic' is having with the 'ec'

TallSkinnyKiwi: How Your Emerging Church Can Stay in Calvary Chapel, Inc

ABC News: After Gastric Bypass Surgery, Women Battle Alcoholism

this is what happens when dotors making a buck over-rules counselling patients. addiction is addiction is addiction. it's not about food people. it's about feeling empty, lost and out of control.

a couple of years ago i met a couple at recovery who both had bypass and were both now facing their alcoholism. while i'm sad that people are struggling with this i am glad it's finally coming into the forefront of the media.
ABC News: After Gastric Bypass Surgery, Women Battle Alcoholism

liam's teaching

i have posted the link to liam's teaching last sunday on my other blog. if you want the link email me at emergingsideways AT gmail DOT com

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

space invaders?

great post - read the rest HERE

Talkin2jah: Thoughts From Traveling: "Jesus said he was “the way”. If we are willing to accept that Jesus is not the destination but the journey itself...what are we doing living at the airport? Why are we living life “close”?…afraid that something will touch us, afraid that someone will invade our space. “Living close” is retreating. We make ourselves smaller so that we don’t get hurt."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The CBE Scroll » (Trans)Gender and Science

this is so sad!

The CBE Scroll » (Trans)Gender and Science

heat, hormones & help!!

pray for me! the heat and the hormones are getting to me! i could handle the company and the sermon (or maybe the other two??) but the four of them together are culminating into quite an emotional stew...

off to the sea - i hope it's cooler there!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

familiar feelings

for the past few days i have shut down. since i've been taking the magnesium i have been sleeping like the dead, and making up for years of interrupted sleep. the heat and 'free floating anxiety' have just stopped me in my tracks.

trying to put my finger on the emotions when they become so overwhelming is difficult. i spend much of the time beating myself up for being overwhelmed and trying to figure out what has stalled me.

last friday my mother-in-law called and said 'oh dear, i know we were talking about coming down at the end of the month/beginning of aug. but we've been talking - how does the 13th sound for you?" you mean THURSDAY?? sigh. forward thinking isn't one of her strong suits. it actually works out fine, so they are driving today to arrive this late this evening.

so for some time i had assumed it was just overwhelming that i was having company and my 'space' was going to be invaded. they are truly the easiest of company. no cleaning necessary and so laid back. she'll even help me sew my curtains while she's here.

then i realized that i was feeling some real familiar emotions that i didn't like at all. liam is teaching on sunday. once i put my finger on that issue everything opened up and made sense. i have totally backed off and allowed his capable self to manage things. he's not overworking so he really has time to do this. it's been hard not to be overly involved, but i know that the fear of 'representing' and putting our best face on is what drives my need to make sure he hasn't forgotten anything or try to steer the cart in the direction "i think it should go". i've been proud of myself for not being overly involved.

but we're getting down to the wire - and now with his parents coming it will eat up any contemplative time he might have otherwise taken. and i know that the stress of 'sunday' will begin to build - and i don't like to do emotions in public. feeling watched/judged is a big fear of mine. i make up what people are thinking and become suspicious and paranoid.

i also realized that this is a level of engaging into the community that i'm really not comfortable with. i have a deep seated fear of institutions. i have not been treated well by them. this church is about as 'institutional-less' as you can get, but there is still a 'belonging' that happens, and if you belong, you can be rejected. and the fear of rejection is a bit more than i can bear right now.

that pushes my co-dependent buttons and makes me want to spit and polish liam and his notes in a last ditch effort to make sure we won't be rejected. oh it pains me to type this. i hate that this all matters to me. i know it's uncovered a huge sore on my soul. the wounding of the past churches has truly left me shell-shocked. i want to run free, not have anything required of me and not have any ties that could hurt me again. but deep down i know that isn't the answer. no community or intimacy is not how we were meant to live. so being present to these emotions is where i sit this morning. trying to feel them without them pushing me into my addictions and co-addictions. damn. pretending is so much more fun.

pray for me. it's going to be a scorcher weekend here. this space already feels a bit tight when it's hot and the kids are home. throw in a couple more people and i'm sure it's going to tempt me to bolt. i guess heading to the ocean will drop the temperature and the open space will do us all good.

on a side note, we went to the island the other day and as i sat with my family at the lighthouse and watched the sea i had a long-time prayer answered. i got to see 8 whale backs surface. i will be posting about this on my other blog sometime this weekend. whales and i have a long history that i didn't understand and i am starting to put the pieces together. it was a sacred time indeed. have a great day!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

pci - personal craziness index

i was reading at deb's abiding blog and she mentioned that she was in a bit of a dry spell and asked people to leave questions to inspire her blogging. i too LOVE questions - they give me a reason to dig deeper. i have been pretty surface lately. content to just sit in the peace after so much tumult this past year. i don't think it's denial, but it definitely isn't effort either.
one of the questions i left for deb was 'do you have any good tools that help you identify 'red flags' to let you know if you're nearing a danger zone in your recovery?" (or something like that?) i thought that would be a good question for me as the tool i use has the THE MOST HELPFUL for me to keep my recovery stabilized and balanced.

it is taken from my guru - patrick carnes - a gentle path through the 12 steps (AGPTT12S)- it truly was the book that changed my life. and this tool he developed is the 'red flag' that keeps me from careening back into my addictions. it's called a "personal craziness index" or PCI (the people who use it call it "picky").

i hope i'm not interfering in any copyright territory - i made the graphic myself (without any help from liam, the graphics master. i'm so very proud of me!) and i'm giving full credit to carnes - AGPTT12S, pgs. 212-223.

he says on pg. 212:
"The Twelve Steps will help you learn the necessary skills, but you also need to develop a lifestyle that builds up reserves of strength and endurance.

Think of your life as having an addiction "set point" - the point at which the imbalance leaves you vulnerable to addiction, when you are too stressed or overextended to maintain your recovery.

By developing a sense of what your own personal set point is, you can be alert to maintaining the balance that makes you less vulnerable to the "friends" of your addict. The PCI on page 214 will help you develop some criteria for recognizing when you have passed that point of sanity and are at risk. The PCI thus can become a set of "training" guidelines under which you train for anticipated stress. In addition, by keeping track of your own PCI for a period of time, you will get better and better at maintaining lifestyle balance and having some fun."
there are then three parts to establishing your own PCI - preparation, recording/charting your pci, maintaining/tuning your pci. the book is set up in workbook style, so you fill in the blanks as you read (GO BUY THE BOOK! really, it will change your life!)

preparation tracks 10 areas of your life and personal behavior that could have danger signs or warnings that you are close to the edge. he writes:

"Addicts and coaddicts are particularly vulnerable to the "insanity" of loss of reality from having neglected the basics. "Keep it simple" and "a day at time" are not shopworn cliches, but guidelines borne out by the experience of many recovery people. The PCI helps you to remember what you need to do each day. It helps you establish good recovery habits. Without a structured process to keep you on track, "cunning and baffling," self-destructive behavior patterns will return. You'll also find the PCI helpful during periods of stress and vulnerability."
the 10 areas are:
  1. Physical Health
  2. Transportation
  3. Environment
  4. Work
  5. Interests
  6. Social Life
  7. Family/Significant Others
  8. Finances
  9. Spiritual Life and Personal Reflection
  10. Other Addictions or Symptom Behaviors
each person is asked to list 3-4 things in each area that are signs of danger. an example i can give from my own PCI preparation would be:

3. Environment - To not have time to do your personal chores is a comment on the order of your life. Consider the home in which plans go unwatered, fish go unfed, grocery supplies depleted, laundry not done or put away, cleaning neglected, dishes unwashed. What are ways in which you neglect your home or living space?
-beds unmade
-dirty dishes on the counter
-laundry not put away

for each of those areas i have listed similar, embarrassing, honest answers. identifying my danger zones allows me to identify when life is getting out of control.

after those 10 areas are listed carnes provides charts to track your behavior - you choose 7 of the 30 that are the highest indicators that life is getting out of control. my seven are:
  1. bad hygiene
  2. avoidance of the telephone
  3. avoidance of finances, balancing checkbook/paying bills
  4. critical of others
  5. no ordered quiet time
  6. dishes piled up
  7. pushing responsibilities on liam so i can stay home/isolation
i personally wasn't great at the charting and actually writing those things down - i just personally remember the 7 things - i have them tattooed on my brain. when i walk in that kitchen and see the dishes piled up i know doing them will help me maintain my sobriety. i know when i'm spending and not keeping good accounts i'm entering a danger zone. i know that when i don't sit at the side of my bed each night and read the next portion of 'the message' before bed i WILL slide back into my addiction (i have been able to maintain this now for over five years!).

this tool, like NO other has given me the red flags i need to check myself and avoid the craziness that drives me back into my addictions. when i maintain them i am able to keep my reserves charged up.

i have no idea if i've left parts of this out or if it makes sense to someone who hasn't read any of carnes. this is definitely not something you begin your recovery with - it is a maintenance tool. if you're actively working the steps it will help you to maintain your sobriety. my guide gave me this out of sequence (because of her love for it) early on in my journey and it made no sense at all to me. i was offended at the "crazy" term used in the name and bristled at all of the work involved. when the timing was right though it has become the 'level' in my toolbox of recovery tools.

please - ask questions - i will edit this if it doesn't make sense - and like i said above - GO BUY THE BOOK!! patrick carnes is a fellow addict - this really works.

you can find some of his great resources here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

IDEA 2006 Award Winners

108 incredible products to peek through - fascinating!

IDEA 2006 Award Winners

ht to corner bob

glorious, lazy days of summer

good books, 75*, lovely breeze and not much required from me at all... oh how i love this pace of life! i feel so indulgent - keeping my house running, family fed and interacting with my community - i know far too many people have to do far too much more than i do - but i love this simple life.

today i sat at the neighbors pool while my daughter and her friend swam and i read and sat in the shady breeze. lovely, lovely, lovely.

the picture was taken on the 4th and i have no idea what kind of plant it is, but it was far too interesting and beautiful not to capture.

hope you are all taking a slice out of life to enjoy the flowers!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

holidays by the sea shore

as we are a dual-nation family we have had the blessing of two holidays - canada day is on the 1st of july, and today is, of course, the 4th of july. liam took a four-day weekend and we celebrated on saturday in a canadian coastal town that was filled with market booths, a parade with bagpipes and mounties, spotting seastars & jellyfish on the dock while the tide was out and lots of beach-combing for our family.

we each got to pick our lunch from the myriad of offerings. liam had samosas, buck and pink got burritos and i had an incredible lamb kabob platter from the amazing turkish caterer. ethnic food in our neck of the woods is a rare thing indeed. we all enjoyed the day immensely and must have counted over 200 dogs - everybody had a dog that day. we really missed our emmy.

once we had combed the public access area of the beach we turned left and followed the shore (and the quickly rising tides) to explore what we couldn't see through the forest. it led us to our own private stretch of beach front - miles and miles - no homes or boats - just a gorgeous stretch of protected beachfront. it was like having our own sacred space. we explored the tidal pools, sat on an old abandoned picnic table and emptied our multiple pockets filled with beach glass and sand smoothed pottery pieces (my favorite). it was truly a glorious day. a lovely breeze, 77 degrees, big puffy clouds and not a soul in sight.

on our walk home a man was letting his dogs run free - one of them was an english golden retriever who swam the waves to greet us. she was our emmy reincarnate - liam and i looked at each other in amazement. she was the same, small, shaggy girl who we could never keep out of the water. it was a short visit from a very old friend. what a beautiful day!

today we are off to celebrate our american side along the coast of maine - we hear tell of buskers, vendors, parades and eventually fireworks - and i'm sure we'll find a beach or two to fill our pockets again with the bounty of the seashore. happy holidays to you!