Days 41-43: Enter Dad

Meditate. ✅
On Saturday, I went to a daylong retreat on mindfulness hosted by UCLA’s MARC (Mindful Awareness Research Center). LOTS of meditation practice there. As if the universe really wanted to test my mindfulness practice, loads of drama around my Dad being discharged from rehab seeped its way into the day. It’s been a rough couple of days, and honestly, I’m feeling an aversion to writing about it, which probably just means that it’s important for me to write about it.

Exercise. ✖
This commitment of mine has definitely taken a hit. I think my past, pernicious mind is chomping at the bit, waiting for an opening to swoop it and take down everything I’ve worked on building.
I didn’t get to the gym today, but I made it work at home and ran up and down the stairs. Anything counts! A little bit of nothing is better than a whole lot of nothing.

Write. ✅
All this time, I’ve been pointing the selfish finger at my mom, minimizing, or perhaps simply ignoring, how selfish my dad has been through all of this. My mom might complain the whole time she’s taking care of my dad, but she devotedly takes care of him everyday. When she herself was fighting cancers years ago, my father basically did next to nothing to help her, both physically and emotionally.

It’s so hard to reconcile everything that’s happening without thinking of these people who birthed me in a negative light. Watching my dad’s physical condition deteriorate, drowning in the financial responsibilities of now having to support my parents, these are actually the easy parts. These are concrete problems with easily discernible parts that are within my control and not within my control. It’s all the emotional turmoil that comes with this situation that festers and feels insurmountable.

There are so many years of history here, nothing can be assessed or felt without all that emotional baggage weighing in. Hearts in every corner are broken beyond repair and countless triggers are still carefully hidden all over the place. I’m not really sure how I’m going to get through what is to come, but I know I will. Somehow, someway, I will get through it because that’s life. Short of our own deaths, we always push our ways through, whether we choose to or not, and end up on the other side.

Do not go out to drink. ✅
It feels pretty amazing not to turn to alcohol as my stress release. The most amazing part is that I actually don’t even want it. I’ve poured myself a glass several times through some of the more emotionally stressful times, but I don’t even get through half of it before I forget about it and lose any desire to continue drinking. I still don’t think that these roots are securely planted enough so I’m still keeping my commitment to get to 90 days before I test the waters.

Do not eat garbage (fast) food. ✅

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