Cup of tea and an open laptop.

I just realised that I don’t like change. The way I discovered this was somewhat unique in a way. Here are two examples.

First, I was in two car accidents within four weeks of one another. I had never had an accident before except a minor one on the famous Boulevard twenty years ago. The car accident totaled my car, which I had named Tabitha. I name my cars because I am strange. I loved that car and would never have turned her in but here I was without a choice in the matter.

The next lesson came from all things – a mattress.

My brilliant physical therapist, when dealing with my challenges, asked me what kind of mattress I had. An old one I told him. He asked if I would consider getting another one which would help my sleep situation – or lack of – and the various aches and pains. So, I bought one. A Temper-Pedic, or some such name. It arrived today. I felt it and it was a memory foam thingy. Good. I imagined going to bed and falling asleep immediately with no pain at all.

It is 12:40am. No sleep. I don’t like the damn thing. I miss my old mattress!

The result of these experiences is when I realised………………I DON’T LIKE CHANGE. The car I now have leased I am not happy with. I got it on the advice of a specialist and a trusted family member. It’s too big and I have a ridiculous exercise routine to get into the wretched thing. Had I known the seats were leather I would never had considered it. I have absolutely no leather in my possession. No purse, no shoes, nothing. I  am a vegetarian and every time I get in the car, I feel awful. The only way I can deal with it is to tell myself the seats are plastic. If I could return it, I would, in a heartbeat.

This has been a strange experience because I always considered myself open minded and generous with other people’s idiosyncrasies, with the exception of people ordering veal or lamb in a restaurant. I tell them ahead of time and if they persist, I am out of there! I learned all this stuff when I became a RECOVERED (yes it can be done) codependent. The funny thing is that I have gone through many changes in my life without concern, yet they have reared their ugly heads now. Why, I wonder?

When the man came to evaluate Tabitha and decided she was totaled, he told me how many people he has dealt with who have strong attachments to their cars. Apparently I am one of them. One of my assets is that I am a very loyal woman, unless you screw with me and then it’s over. I didn’t realise I was loyal to things, too. I am. It was quite an awakening. So, I started to consider what else would come under this category.

The biggest change was the result of being codependent. Being married to a narcissist for 25 years, HE decided everything. For those of you who know me, this might be hard to accept! Because of him, I left my beloved London to come here to the USA. What I experienced in getting here would take a book. It was a living nightmare to start with. You can imagine how bad it was when the narcissist, seeing my condition said, “What have I done?” Well, that didn’t last long and yes, it would take a book.

I started writing my memoirs and didn’t get too far but I did write about my marriage. I did the whole chapter in fact. Here it is:

“I was married to a narcissist for twenty five years.”

That is the entire chapter as I am not giving energy to those disastrous 25 years and all the extreme unpleasantness it brought with it, not only for me, but for my children. I say MY children because I was both parents.

I adapted my life to everybody’s needs since I was eight years old. ( I am not talking professionally).When I look back on being the woman I have become, I am amazed. Resilience is my middle name!

I was talking with friends today, both of whom have the same middle name, laughing about what we have done because of that codependent nonsense. I was cleaning our house from the age of eight, on my knees scrubbing floors, polishing silver, washing and ironing shirts for students who lived in our home. So today, I pay someone to come twice a month to clean my house, and if I couldn’t afford it, I would give up eating to use that money! I know. I laugh at a lot of these situations but at the time, they were awful.

When I look at the massive changes I have made in my life, it encourages me to help others do the same. It can be done, and I am living proof. Is my life perfect? Heavens – I hope not. How boring would that be?

There’s no such thing as perfection. Perfectionism in and of itself is an impossible situation. Perfectionists are excellent at what they do but are never satisfied. This is why so many of our wonderful poets, authors, artists are not recognised until after their deaths. It was never good enough. I have to say I am truly blessed in that area. I make mistakes – so what. I am not talented in areas I would like to be and as Mother Theresa said, “You cannot do what I do. I cannot do what you do and together we can make a difference.” How true is that!

I made a massive change on June 5, 2015. That was the day my husband John died. Meeting him changed my life completely and it took two years for me to believe he was real. How about that for a change? I had never lived alone. Ever. Frequently I would wonder how I would cope, how safe would I feel and above all, how incredibly lonely I would be without him. Those twenty seven days at home in Hospice with the Earth Angels taught me a lot but not about living alone.

I call these situations anticipatory grief; being sad and concerned about something that hasn’t happened yet. There’s a different kind but in this case I am referring to negative projection. This is why it is said that yesterday has gone. You can do nothing about it. Tomorrow isn’t here yet so that is the same. However today is here which is why they call it the present. It’s a gift of choice. I learned all about that with my ‘bible,’ Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl. When I mentioned earlier about coming to this country when I was dangerously homesick, a woman insisted I read this book. It changed my life, literally. It lives in my briefcase, and I have another signed copy. It’s all about choice.

Actually, I didn’t know what to call this blog. It was either CHANGE or CHOICE so I thought I would call it one thing and speak of the other. In his book Dr. Frankl wrote that people make conscious decisions on the way they feel. I didn’t know that. I identified as being a victim, never dreaming that would end. It did. When I read this little book, it was instantaneous. I consider all my issues until I met a man who told me I didn’t have issues, I have injuries! It made sense and as I determined from reading this book, I needed to find healing because,  guess what? I was worth it.

What an awakening that was. I had been “kept in my place” forever. Now I decide what and where that place is. To reassure those of you who still have codependency injuries, it is totally recoverable. I am not a recovering codependent. I am a recovered codependent. Truly, if I could do it, anybody can.

When I work with the recovering community this question of choice comes up a lot. Because I am dedicated to it, I work with them on questions like what are your character assets? What are your talents? What takes your breath away? They tell me nobody had ever asked them those questions before. It had all been judgmental statements because of their addiction. So here comes Dr. Sunshine, asked these questions and then I get answers like, “I’m compassionate.” “I’m loving” “I listen, I care, I am loyal, I sock it to them.”

The question is, are you compassionate, listening, caring, loyal, loving to yourself? Silence. Then I tell them, “I am not a mathematician but even I know you can’t give what you don’t have.” If they do, that’s the dreaded codependency rearing its ugly head. Whilst on this subject and should anyone be suffering with this condition, the very best books on the subject are Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency by Melodie Beattie. Absolutely brilliant and written so very well.

So, I started with change. When I consider the changes I make today in important things like what do I do with my time, how can I help people overcome grief? Overcoming is different from “getting over” and other such questions. Most of all I have learned that having fun provides an essential balance to my work, which is sometimes heartrending.

A long time ago I had a sponsor whose name was Alma. The wisest woman I knew at that time, she told me to “run with the winners.” I do that. I wanted to be with people who were more creative, wiser, funnier (no not that one because I am hilarious) and it works. What I didn’t know at the beginning of all this was it was easy. Keep it simple. Make the changes YOU want. I do really simple things that bring pleasure. Once a month four of us women meet for lunch. There’s lots of laughter. Then another meeting with four of us who are neighbours. Friggin’ hilarious. And then picking up my phone to call family who are in London is often a hoot. I do get the real news about what is really going on at home. Yes, it will always be home.

At this time in my life, I am thinking of making professional changes. I have the gift of hearing from people who have passed this life. I do automatic writing. I am not a psychic as such, but I do tarot readings. Some of the messages I get are amazing and right on target too. I’ve put these talents on hold for years but now they are creeping back. I manifest too and sadly haven’t been able to manifest winning the lottery or being hired by a large organisation to do their training at a ridiculously high fee! Please don’t give me that “money isn’t everything” nonsense. Try living without it.

And the bible pushers who say money is the root of all evil. NO. THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. In and of itself. I am an Interfaith Minister. I know stuff! Like people who read a lot of books and have pets. They know stuff! My second book was a best seller years ago. It’s called CREDIT, CASH AND CODEPENDENCY. It still applies to this day.

I would like to hear how change has affected your lives and what else you want to do. I know that I want to change my profession, want to travel more and do other stuff. As for all of you, Be well and conquer. I know I will.

Now I will give that mattress another chance but before that, I will have what heals all ills – a cuppa tea.

Credits: Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Go ahead and talk to me.

%d bloggers like this: