What Letter R U?

This day is starting out as an auspicious one. Don’t you love that word?

Auspicious = favorable. Love it.

Woke up at 415am (after sleeping six hours straight which might be deemed an almost miracle) and checked FB to see if my son had posted an update during the night. He had (and this photo is it.)

Okay, it’s not technically an “update” but since he is traveling in Istanbul I’m just thankful to see via FB that he is 1) safe, 2) eating, 3) taking it all in (in that order.)

As a mom to three daughters and one son, I define communication very differently between the two sexes. My girls and I talk (text/email/chat) daily. My son (not so much) but when he does (text/email/chat) it is in succinct soundbite phraseology, which I’m fine with, it just took me a while to make the transition between female child mode of communication and male child mode of communication.

Which leads me to my next auspicious beginning…reading Heather Kopp’s blog post for the day. You can read it on her site here. Today, Heather writes about the power of emotions before/during/after recovery….and she’s not just talking about people with addictions (so if you’re not awake yet, that includes all of us.)

Here’s an excerpt (to get you hooked so you really do click her link and read the whole piece.) Heather is describing below a conversation she had with a good friend who struggles with using food as her emotional buffer.

My friend admits she uses food to numb unwanted feelings of guilt, sadness, and anger. “Ice cream got me through my divorce,” she says.

Ice cream, cocaine, sex, booze—I completely get it.

The biggest problem with addictions is that they work. For a while, whatever it was you didn’t want to feel, you felt less or not at all. Sooner than you dreamed possible, you’re hooked. What began as a handy escape escalates into a destructive addiction that could someday take your life.

When a person who has been numb for years finally seeks help, the return of emotions can come as quite a shock. In recovery, we sometimes say with a wink to newcomers, “Don’t worry, you’ll feel better soon.” But what we mean is you’ll feel everything better soon—including pain, resentment, anger, boredom, sadness, guilt…

I hope you didn’t miss that last line because it’s important.

Which leads me to why I titled this post, “What Letter R U?”

If you could pick a letter from the alphabet to describe yourself what would it be?

If you’re guessing I would pick the letter “A” for auspicious…you’d be wrong.

I’m a “C“….as in Capital C for Control.

I crave it.
I think about it.
I dream about making it an ongoing reality in my life.
I make lists to make it happen

I’ve suffered from this break from reality since childhood.

For many years I would comfort myself with my A,B,C…planning…I would reason that if I enacted Plan A,B,C…then all would be well (what I was really saying was all would be under my control.)

I think back to this “magical thinking” phase of my life and instead of bringing me comfort, it’s done just the opposite. It makes me feel overly responsible for the outcomes in my life (and in those whom I love.)

As a woman smack-dab in midlife, I am feeling more angst than at any other time in my life…but…I’m also experiencing more freedom as well.

My prayers are still full to overflowing with the big “C” theme though…you know, open hands of relinquishment one minute and tight-fisted the next.

I guess I’m still in recovery mode here. But isn’t being able to say, “My name is Michele and I am a control addict…” the first step in recovery?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I know it feels good to say it…to admit it. Feeling life is hard. It hurts deep inside my bones. Most of the time, I ask God to take my feelings away and let me get to the job at hand. But He never answers that particular prayer.

Instead, He gives me beautiful auspicious reminders (like my son’s lovely photo of Istanbul and Heather’s encouraging words on feeling life with courage) that He’s with me, no matter what.

I’d much rather face my days looking at life with an auspicious (open handed, favorable) outlook than a controlling (tight-fisted, imprisioned) one.

I figure I can still be a “C” as long as it’s “C” for —



Out of Control