Monday, October 28, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
About 6 months ago I had a 5 year relationship end. I was beginning to have doubts about the relationship, and was uncertain how to move forward. Should I end it, should I work through it. I didn't really know what I was going to do for sure. I talked about my dilemma with a group of friends at my birthday party and somebody went and told. My ex found out, and the decision I was unsure of making was made for me.
It hurt me, but I don't think I realized the extent of that pain until recently. It has really made it hard to move forward, but I am getting ahead of myself. To help you understand why it hurt me so bad, I feel that I should start at the beginning. The summer before I started 9th grade, I was fixed up by my dad and step-mother in a relationship. I know that sounds weird, but it happened. I guess they thought they knew what was best for me.
So we started seeing each other. As we got to spending more time together, we started having more and more in common. We spent a lot of time together, and suddenly we had the same interests. We shared hobbies and soon all of our friends were shared. It was then that I decided to open up and let someone in.
Dropping my walls and opening up was really rough for me. I had lost faith at a young age. I was abused physically, sexually and emotionally by people that were supposed to care and protect me. I thought I would never leave myself open to be hurt again. It took me some time, but I felt myself starting to care and trust again. I was beginning to believe it could happen.
I was wrong. Less than a year into that relationship, it ended. I made a couple of mistakes that I did not feel were that serious, and yet I was told we were done. When that happened, I had most of my friends stripped from me. In this break up, all of our friends chose sides and it wasn't mine. They sided with my ex and stopped talking to me.
I was hurt, but it was only a year relationship and I got over it. I made new friends pretty quickly, or so they thought. The truth was, the walls were back up and they were stronger and more impenetrable than ever. I was not going to let anyone or anything get to close to me. To insure that, I started using drugs and alcohol on a daily basis. It numbed me and allowed me to keep my distance.
I did this for years. I used more frequently and in larger amounts as my addiction grew. Soon I was confident that I would never be hurt again. I took pride in it, and most of my friends became people that were either hurt like I was or were celibate. Then I met a couple that changed the way I felt. They were in a relationship that was unlike any I had seen. It was real.
They talked to me about getting into a relationship like they had. The more time I spent around them, the more I could see that their relationship was genuine and I wanted what they had. I wanted to be happy again. I wanted to trust again. More than anything, I wanted to have hope again. I was fresh out.
So finally I let them set me up. I was very wary at first. I was slow to open up. We would only go out once or twice a month. Even though I saw my friend's relationship was real, I was reticent to open up again. I had already seen what would happen if a relationship went south. I had seen it before, and I was sure that it would happen again if I opened up. I did not want to hurt like that again.
Over time, as we continued seeing each other, I began to get comfortable. I heard the things I needed to hear and began to develop feelings but I denied them. I continued to keep my distance and kept my walls up. Then one night I had a life changing event and decided to give it a chance. I would open myself up again and really pour myself into the relationship.
And pour I did. We began seeing each other a couple of times a week. I found myself talking about the relationship with my friends and coworkers, as well as telling them all the reasons I felt as I did. Soon, I began to believe that this time was different and I really opened up. My faith was restored, and I finally began to trust again.
Soon, almost all of the friends we had were shared. Our weekends revolved around each other, and we would frequently see each other during the week as well. We picked up a couple of shared hobbies, and I was sold. This time I was pretty sure I had found the one.
As I felt this, I began to read about other relationships and what people thought of them. I read books written by some of the most prominent authors on relationship; from both the present and the past. I also read what many consider to be the ultimate guide on relationships, the Bible. You see, the relationship I am talking about is the relationship I had with the church. The authors I am talking about are Francis Chan, Os Guiness, Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer, G. Campbell Morgan, etc.
They made me start to look at the church I was going to in a different way. Then I began to see some faults. I felt some of the things I had partnered with them on were not supported the way I saw them support other people. Things had changed, some for the better and some of them for the worse. It was the ones that had changed for the worse I had issues with.
The church had opportunities to make things better in my opinion, and they did not. I decided to visit a couple of other churches to see what they had to offer. There were a lot of differences between the church I attended, the ones I visited and the mission of the church the authors I was reading espoused.
I wrote a blog called "The Secular Church" about those differences after a particularly bad experience at a church I visited. I was not sure what I wanted to do. I needed some input. My wife threw a surprise birthday party for me and invited my close friends. One of my friends talked about switching churches, and I said that I was having some thoughts about it too. I told my friends that I was unsure of what to do and we talked about the problems I was having then we went our separate ways.
Somehow church leadership found out about the struggles I had talked about at my birthday party. That, coupled with the blog I had written, led to a divide between the church and me. I am unsure if it was hurt feelings or pride on my side, their side or both that caused the division. There were awkward things said and done. Even if I had wanted to stay, at this point my wife and I felt like we could not. It culminated with my wife being asked not to sing on a Sunday she was scheduled to lead worship.
At that point we stopped attending, and started looking for a new church. This is where we find ourselves now. I have not been attending a church regularly or consistently since the break up. I find myself on Sundays struggling to make it to church. I wake up on Sundays and I am not excited like I used to be for church. Instead, I am once again wary and putting up walls to keep me safe. I don't want to get hurt again. It has happened twice before.
My first experience with church was going with my parents. My parents would yell and scream at each other all the way there, then get out of the car and act like nothing had happened. Our parents had a friend of theirs from the church babysit us and that was the person who molested me. This is why I stopped attending church in the 4th grade.
Five years later I was made to go to the Kingdom Hall. That is the prior relationship I was talking about in 9th grade. I was lulled in and gave the church another try. One of the elders at the Kingdom Hall had two daughters. I made out with one of them, and my step-brother made out with the other. Nothing happened to the elder's daughters. My step-brother and I were disassociated, which means that we were excommunicated from the church and everyone there was forbidden to talk to us.
I am right back to where I was after that last time, only this time my friends are not forbidden from talking to me. Instead, it just seems kind of awkward. I talk to them and they ask what happened, if I answer their question they get offended. Some of the people who used to call me frequently have stopped calling me. Most of our shared friends don't seem to be as friendly as they once were. That is one of the ways it feels like past break ups.
Then there are the people who we run into that don't know we are no longer attending the same church. It is like running into someone you have not seen in a while who asks how you and your partner are doing when you are no longer together. Just a couple of weeks ago, I ran into someone who asked why my wife Julie was no longer singing. When I told them we were no longer going there, they were shocked. They thought we were just going to a different service then they were and they wanted to know why we left.
That is another difficulty, how do you answer that question, "Why don't you go there any more?" I always answer that question, as the Bible tells us to always bring to light things done in the dark. That and I have always been a pretty honest person since I got saved. Some would say I am too open and honest.
The problem now is that I compare every church to the last one I went to. I want all that was right with my old church coupled with all of the things I thought were wrong corrected to be present. Then it has to be a place that can use the God given talents that my wife and I have been blessed with. Unfortunately, I am having trouble getting close to any church. I am making excuses to not go to church which is a bad deal but I have good cause.
I am separated from the church I considered to be my home for 5 years as well as many of my friends. Since I had invested so much into it, I guess that it will take a lot longer to work through than I had originally thought it would. But I am coming to realize a couple of things that may help me as I pray on them and turn them over to God.
I forgot that churches are filled with people, who are imperfect. I realize that as hurt, confused and betrayed as I feel I am sure that there must have been others who felt the same way at my old church or it would not have ended as it did. I think that a big part of my pain was not leaving on my terms but instead feeling no longer welcome and my wife being asked not to sing. I took it as personally as my blog must have been taken by others.
In closing I ask for prayer for both my wife and I. We need understanding and strength to work through our still present confusion and hurt as well as a new home church that is Biblically sound, community focused and can use the abilities and gifts my wife and I have to further their ministries.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Maria Kang, who is a 32 year old mother of 3 who owns two residential care homes for the elderly, runs a fitness non-profit that she founded and is a freelance writer. She posted a picture of herself posing with her 3 children who are 3, 2 and 8 months old. It had a caption over the top of it that said, “What’s Your Excuse.” Her point was that if she could have 3 children, the most recent one born 8 months ago, and still be in shape what is holding everyone else back?
Of course, many people are offended. Why? “How dare her be a bully!” followed by “I can’t believe that she is fat shaming!” There were also those who felt that she was trying to tell them how to look. I do not even begin to understand the bullying they are talking about, not the fat shaming. I am not even sure what fat shaming is. Finally, she is not telling anyone how they should look. She is making a point. So why are so many offended at this?
Honestly, I guess the truth really hurts. Another reason is because she is taking away one of the most popular excuses people have for gaining weight, having a child. There are multiple other excuses, like not having enough time, their genetics and the environment they live in. The truth is, many of us love to make excuses rather than take the time to make changes. Finally, there is the blame game, such as “I am fat because I was abused as a child. Let us work at taking these excuses away.
The first is not an excuse, it is just realistic. The truth does hurt. If people are saying untrue things about me, I can laugh it off. If they are saying true things or if something they say hits close to home I am liable to get angry and offended. That is my defense mechanism that allows me to stay the way I am while getting mad at someone else for simply being honest.
Next are the excuses. As long as I have reasons to act the way I act, look the way I look and think the way I think I never have to change which is good. Change makes me uncomfortable, and feeling uncomfortable is not something that overweight people enjoy. We generally eat to numb ourselves from real life, to escape problems or to insulate us by keeping people further away.
Finally, we have the blame game. I love to blame other people. If my problems are always someone else’s fault I can do nothing to change them. They have to change, and often they have to change things that are done in the past. Since this is impossible, I can remain the way I am and feel good about it. Maybe not good, but I can relegate myself to the fate I feel that others have thrust upon me.
How do we overcome these issues:
1. I have to hold myself accountable for where I am today. I may have had things happen that led me down this path, but it was my choice to continue walking down it.
2. Realize that although I may be powerless over the past and other people, I have the ultimate power when it comes to dealing with them. I chose how to deal with people and situations.
3. If someone says something or does something that offends you, get honest and try to figure out why you were offended. It will frequently be something in your life that you need to work on.
4. Stop making excuses to fail and start creating reasons to succeed.
5. Start your day off with a gratitude list and a goal for the day. List 3 things you are grateful for and one thing you want to achieve that day. It can be as small as walking around the block or as big as running 5 miles.
6. It is okay to have big goals, but make sure that you have little ones that help you step up to reach the big one. I want to lose 60 pounds; my first goal was to lose 5 pounds in the first month. I have been working in 5 pound increments.
7. Eating and exercising are choices. I can choose to eat fast food, or I can choose to eat lean meats and vegetables with a weekly cheat. I can choose to be lazy or I can choose to be active.
PS – How dare some of you use your kids as an excuse to be lazy and eat poorly! I have kids, and we play. My 6 year old and I play basketball and catch. I chase my 14 month old around the house and take her to the park. Get off of your butts, set an example for your kids by eating right and get some fresh air with them and play OUTSIDE!!!!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
- You never have to use again
- Live your life with an attitude of gratitude
- Easy Does It
- One Day at a Time
- Drugs gave me wings then they took my sky away
- It is called alcohol-ism not alcohol-wasm
- Never along, never again
- I was the black sheep of my family until I came to NA and found the rest of my flock
- Give us 90 meetings in 90 days and if at the end of that you are not fully satisfied we will gladly refund your misery
- Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results
- Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over again, knowing the outcome yet doing it anyway
- I may not always know God’s will but I will always know what God’s will is not
- It's really simple. The only thing you have to change is everything
- KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid (or Keep It Simple Silly)
- If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got
- If you want to change who you are change what you do
- If you hang out at a barbershop long enough you are going to get a hair cut
- Change your people, places and things
- Old playgrounds and playmates get you into trouble
- I used to be a hopeless dope fiend now I am a dopeless hope fiend
- I went from dealing dope to dealing hope (David Stoecker)
- People who judge don’t matter and people who matter don’t judge
- Holding a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die
- The world record is 24 hours
- Don’t quit before the miracle happens
- I can’t, God can so let Him
- I looked to a drug for courage and it made me a coward
- You are either working on recovery or working on a relapse
- If you are not working on the solution you are working on the problem
- You are either part of the problem or part of the solution
- My mind is a scary place to be all by myself
- Your best thinking got you here
- My pickers are broken
- Addicts suffer from a condition called first thought wrong (Mark Lundholm)
- I wouldn’t trade my worst day sober for my best day high
- I may not be where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I was
- Being humble doesn’t mean we think less of ourselves, it means we think of ourselves less
- Pride is who is right while humility is what is right
- Give all your problems to God. He’ll be up all night anyway
- I’m allergic to drugs and alcohol. Every time I use I break out in handcuffs and felony charges
- People may not always believe what I say but they will always believe what I do
- I stopped counting the days and started making the days count
- It is not what I know that keeps me sober, it is what I do that keeps me sober
- What happened in the past is over. You can’t unscramble scrambled eggs
- You can't turn a pickle back into a cucumber
- 7 Days without a meeting makes one weak
- There is no elevator, you have to take the steps
- I only drank on special occasions, like the grand opening of a pack of cigarettes
- While I am sitting in this meeting my addiction is out in the parking lot doing push ups
- HALT - Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired
- HALT - Hear, Assess, Listen then Talk (Mark Lundholm)
- My drug of choice was more
- Relapse is part of the program (Good intentions but one of the worst sayings ever)
- Your Higher Power can be a door knob (Good meaning but a horrible saying)
- I didn't like NA. After all, I had lost a lot of good friends to NA
- Addiction is Cunning, Baffling and Strong
- Addiction ends in Jails, Institutions and Death
- Drugs are bad, M'kay.......
- The only thing I only did halfway was the steps
- How do I know I need to go to a meeting? When I don't want to go to one
- Attitudes are contagious. Always make sure yours is worth catching
- If you don't drink you won't get drunk
- Suit up and show up don't shoot up and throw up
Friday, October 11, 2013
Affordable for who????? They call it the affordable health care act and I can't see how that is. My wife was paying $300 a month for our previous insurance so we opted out of my insurance. Her insurance was a little bit better than mine was, so we went with her. Now that she is stay at home, we have looked back to my work for insurance. My work insurance went up 25% after the new affordable health care act went into effect. That was after them shopping around and changing plans.
We looked at Blue Cross/Blue Shield a month ago, and since the new act went into effect the price they have quoted us was doubled from a month ago. I want to know who this is supposed to be affordable for? Because for most of the people that I know, a 25% increase in one of your monthly bills that is NOW MANDATORY OR YOU GET FINED is too much.
To put the quote into perspective, the price for my wife and I alone is MORE THAN OUR HOUSE AND TRUCK PAYMENTS COMBINED!!!!! Again I ask, how is that considered affordable? My daughter has insurance through medicaid since she was born with cataracts and is considered legally blind and we only have to pay $75 a month for her. The premium I talk about being more than both payments does not even include that $75.
I guess that if you are disabled or have insanely low income, this may be affordable because you will have medicaid. Other wise, it looks like we are screwed. I will pay almost $10,000 a year for insurance that has a $1,000 deductible and $4,000 out of pocket each maximum. If we both get ill, that is almost $20,000 a year for and with insurance. WHO IS THIS AFFORDABLE FOR!!!!!
I PAY 20% OF MY GROSS FOR TAXES, THEN I GET TAXED ANOTHER 5-10% ON EVERYTHING I BUY. I PAY PROPERTY TAXES ON MY HOUSE AND CAR AND ANOTHER 20% OF MY TAKE HOME NOW FOR INSURANCE. I WOULD ALMOST RATHER BE A SOCIALIST STATE. AT LEAST AFTER I GOT TAXED 40% THERE I WOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY A MAX OUT OF POCKET!!!!!!
This is by far the most bent out of shape I can remember being in quite some time. I just cannot fathom how we are supposed to be able to live after they take 50% of my pay check then expect me to pay deductibles and everything else. I see why people stay on welfare or disability once they get on it. It sucks to have these stressors. I could just check out and get disability.
I could probably get a disability check for my multiple mental health diagnosis, from bipolar disorder to generalized anxiety and a personality disorder or two to boot. Here is what that would look like: low cost/free housing, medicaid, SSID of about $1000-15000 a month, $600 in food stamps and maybe $300 in TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). But I will not take that, because I have the ability to work and there are a lot of people who can't function who really need that money.
For those who think that I am going to side with one group or the other, you are out of luck. For the most part politicians are millionaires that we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to do several months of work. Our tax dollar also pays for them and their families to have insurance. Ninety percent of those in congress are so far out of touch with the realities a middle class family faces.
I am almost tempted to just pay the $2,000 per person fine for my wife and I. That is only $4,000 a year and it is cheaper. If I get sick, then I can just file bankruptcy. That would keep me in line with the members of congress. Last I saw, there were over 100 bankruptcies filed by members of congress and the senate. If it is good enough for our leaders, I could just follow their lead.
I am so frustrated and disgusted right now. I am not used to these feelings, so I am using my blog to vent. If anyone agrees with this rant, please let me know. If you disagree, keep it civil but let me know why. And if you have an alternative solution, please share it.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Weekends killed me the last two months, period. I would lose 4-5 pounds during the week, then gain back 3-4 of them over the weekend. Fortunately for me, that still allowed me to lose what they consider a healthy amount of weight. After all, healthy is 1-2 pounds a week. I need to watch what I do on the weekends, and not just because of wanting to lose weight.
I have some internal issues, which I am quite sure come from my addiction's impact on me physiologically. Unfortunately, my addiction is still kicking my butt. Now my addiction takes the form of food instead of drugs, alcohol, money, power, sex, violence, chaos and criminality like in the past. I eat foods that I know I will have a bad reaction to because they taste good and make me feel better. I know that I will pay for it later and I don't care. I need to work on that.
This will be my goal for the next 90 days, to only have one cheat meal a week and to add at least one cardio during the weekend. I might add 2 if I can make it fit. That is one thing that I managed to do well during this 90 day challenge, cardio. I abhor cardio, and yet I was able to do 30 minutes 4-5 days a week. I am aiming for 3 1/2 hours of cardio a week this time, instead of 2-2 1/2.
In closing, food addiction sucks because you have to eat. There are a lot of addictions you do not have to do to survive. Food is a must. Besides, it is hereditary. As far back as I can remember, everyone in may family ate. Plus I was raised around food, so it is both nature and nurture.
Seriously, if you are having struggles I can relate. Here are a couple of tips for you:
- Keep a food journal/diary that records everything that you eat.
- Allow yourself one cheat meal a week, preferably on one of the days you work out on
- Set up an accountability partner or two who you can be accountable to
- Find a couple of other people who are also trying to lose weight. Meet at least once a week and update each other on your progress. If you want set up a contest where the winner gets something (I prefer cash).
- Drink AT LEAST 80 and I would recommend 120 ounces of water a day
- Get 7-8 hours sleep a night (here is where I fail, I get 4-5)
- Do at least four 30-60 minute cardio sessions a week even if it is just walking. The best cardio in the world is the cardio that you will do