The POWER of “NO” and Mindfulness

It happened again.  It happens periodically; too often in fact.  I wind up with my head swimming and my world spinning and I just want to get the f*ck off!  I realized that I had over-committed myself —again.  When will I ever learn to use the POWER of the word NO?  I get a meeting started, I take on every person coming into recovery that is foisted my way; give them rides to and from meetings (75 miles round trip, 2 to 3 times a week), plus they offer for me to give rides home to people who live in f***ing Santa Fe!!!  I am not kidding…one night I had six people in my car, not by my own doing.  Well, actually it is.

I have such a hard time saying no (I don’t like being taken advantage of but my behavior would indicate otherwise).  Even when I said it loudest and longest it didn’t matter or stop someone from taking advantage of or hurting me.  It’s a people-pleasing thing that we, as addicts, do.  It’s also got to do with being a victim too I imagine.  But in order for me to get the therapy to break it all down and change this behavior, I NEED TIME.  TIME FOR SELF-CARE AND MINDFULNESS.  I even got away from my morning yoga and meditation; I had a constant state of fear that I was running out of time –for EVERYTHING.  Finally, a voice in my head -among many others, screamed “STOP!” No more rides, no more favors and re-prioritize your work life!  You see, I was also having to run back and forth on the 75-mile trip to a hotel where I was setting up a “sequestered event.”

I started to realize just how much I was allowing others to use me.  One of my brothers in the program, even asks for rides to and from his apartment which is three blocks from the meeting!  Another, she asks me to cart her around to her convenience, always making excuses for why she cannot meet at a location that is easier for me to get to in traffic, or why I need to give her a ride home from our local meeting so she “doesn’t have to ask her mom or her brother to come get here.”  What am I, a f**king TAXI???  Am I the UBER of the program without pay???  These people are also the types who will dominate a meeting –never caring about using up someone else’s potential share time.  To top it all off:  TWO SPEEDING TICKETS IN THREE WEEKS -BOTH EN ROUTE TO NA MEETINGS!!! TOTAL: $180 + $91 = $271!!!

Now.  Do I sound ANGRY?  YOU BET I AM.  I am angry that I haven’t got the stones to tell these people NO.  It’s a horrible trigger of so many other events where I didn’t stand up and fight for myself.  So, I took a step back.  I haven’t been to a meeting in over a week.  I plan to attend one in Santa Fe tomorrow night.  I have already texted them that I cannot take them to it.  The answer I received?  Am I going tonight?  It’s a guilt trick.  It always works on me.  My MOTHER WAS A TRAVEL AGENT FOR GUILT TRIPS SO MY BAGS ARE ALWAYS PACKED.

I need to go ALONE, SEPARATELY from them and SHARE.  More to the point, I need to reclaim control of my life and place it back where it belongs, with my HP.  I NEED TO SLOW THE F*CK DOWN.  As a result, I ended up in a full blown panic attack…I thought my head and my heart were going to explode.  I went to see my therapist, then the Occupational Medicine Head of Psychiatry –who by the way are both amazing women that I respect.  I told my psychiatrist (a man I went to high school with who is younger than me, patronizes me about my age and tries to bully me to weigh in front of him, yeah right) that the voices in my head were telling me to slow down or die.  His reaction?  You need to be on another medication.  Mine?  No way.

Anyway, my point is that when I make time for self-care and follow a routine that is manageable for me, my life works and I am able to practice mindfulness.  When I can no longer do this due to so many other commitments in my life that I feel the weight and the pressure of obligations, then I am about to crack and my life does NOT work.  There is a balance (or chi) that I must strike, but as I am an addict in recovery, couple with being a diagnosed Bi-Polar, then I handle things in extremes.  It is time for me to return to the study and practice of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, as those skills were actually helping me to process my feelings and sit with them; check IN with my body, myself and acknowledge my physical issues of the moment, and leave it all out in my yoga and meditation (or sharing at meetings).

I am striving to strike this balance.  For now, I have agreed with my selves to cut back on the meetings and the driving.  I have to STICK UP for MY FEELINGS and ACKNOWLEDGE MYSELF AND MY RECOVERY FIRST, the way it was six months ago when I got out.

Wish me luck.  More later…peace, love and blessings.

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