Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WOWW - Working On Wellness & Wholeness

I'm determined to have a more positive post today. I stayed home from work since I am still extremely gimpy. Saw my primary this morning who gave me a script for an MRI of the right knee, and I was able to get it scheduled for 7:30 tonight. Thank goodness! This way, I can take the CD with me to the orthopedic doc tomorrow morning and find out what's cookin' in the limb. I'm very relieved to have all these ducks in a row, because I want to get moving on the discovery and subsequent treatment process, if one is indicated.

This morning I've been able to walk a little better, but still create the image from afar of an lame old lady I suspect. Being elevator phobic, I walked up the steps one flight at the primary's office, and it was quite a scene. My husband stayed a few steps behind me, presumably to get knocked backwards himself if I went catapulting downwards. He thinks he was there to "catch me" in case I took a dive. Since I outweigh him by 25 pounds, that might not be so simple for him. BUT! I used to outweigh him by as much as 70 pounds, and even a little more for a short time. And that was not during pregnancies. Progress, yes? Actually, over the last 10 years, he's gained 20 lbs (all the way up to 175 at 6'1", from his long time weight of 155 - he's a runner but has had to scale back a bit over the years) and I've lost 30 from my highest. So not as much progress as it initially sounds, but I claim it proudly. Also I say with certainty that hubby looks good with a little more fullness in his face, which is about the only place you see his extra lbs. He used to be quite angular looking... think of cro-magnon man with emphasis on cheekbones, brows and chin line. The little extra meat has softened his facial structure a bit and I like it!

I want to say again how much I love blogging, with the warmest, fuzziest, puffiest love there is. Yesterday I got several emails from bloggers - just touching base either about a comment I made on one of their blogs or responding to something I posted about. This is so meaningful for me. Community is vital for this recovering-from-too-many-addictions gal (almost said girl but thought my daughter would tell me later that I ain't no girl). I've found the most amazing community of fellow broken folks in AA - the best people in the world. But our blogging community ranks right up there in my heart. Not only do I experience support, inspiration, acceptance and motivation, I also get a chance to write a bit, which is one of my truest and best forms of self expression. What a gift we have in each other - and that goes for far beyond the blogging community.

The whole time I've been writing, I haven't noticed my knee at all. Of course I'm sitting down, but if I consciously think about it, I can start to sense discomfort. There is a story in the Big Book (the AA basic text) written by a recovering doctor who writes of the "magnifying mind" that we all have. "It was as if I had, rather than a Midas touch which turned everything to gold, a magnifying mind that magnified whatever if focused on." (Alcoholics Anonymous pg 418)

He noted that early in his marriage, he saw things in his wife that others didn't see: beauty, charm, a gift for being easy to talk to, good sense of humor... But as his drinking (and thinking) got worse, the alcohol (substance of choice) affected his vision to where instead of seeing good, he began focusing on her defects - and as he focused on the negative, the negative increased..."The more I drank, the more she wilted." (pg 419)

"Then one day in AA, I was told that I had the lenses in my glasses backwards: "the courage to change" in the Serenity Prayer meant not that I should change my marriage, but rather I should change myself and learn to accept my spouse as she was. AA has given me a new pair of glasses. I can again focus on my wife's good qualities and watch them grow and grow and grow." (pg 419)

Obviously I didn't write this all out to talk about marriage, but rather the notion that what we focus on does, in fact, intensify and enlarge. And even overwhelm. It applies to just about every aspect of my life. If I stay focused on the poor me's about my knee, my weight, my job - basically count my miseries on a daily basis, I will feel hopeless and powerless. I can't change the big events - my eff-ed up knee for example. But I can take action by doing the next right thing - whatever it is. Call the doc. Don't swim. Don't take that walk I took Monday on snow and ice when my knee was already hurting quite a bit.

Abraham Lincoln said "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Amen. And sure, that can sound like a bunch of happy horse sh*t when there are serious big things going on. But still, even under dire circumstances, we can elect to stay open-minded, positive, prayerful. Whatever one can muster in a storm. I honestly forget this stuff, so maybe I'm writing about it to remind myself. Maybe this is a thing I can change - my mopey poor-me-knees focus. Today I'm focusing on the fact that whatever is causing my knee crap can be remedied somehow. All is not lost. I'm still me, and the only person who thinks I'm "less than" because I can't power down at the gym right now is me.

I'll shut up in a minute, but not before saying one more AA nugget about self-pity: "Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink." Yep - that's where my negativity can send me. Maybe not to a the liquor cabinet today, but definitely to this food addict's favorite emporium, the candy aisles at the local drug store.

Once again I've written 80 more paragraphs than I intended. Oh well - I'm powerless over whether anyone reads one word of it or not. But I sure feel better for writing it all out! Will update tomorrow on the MRI and orthopod visit! Ya'll come back now, hear?


  1. Will be back, and I always read every word :) Hope you get good news.

  2. Good stuff, Leslie. I was thinking about similar concept this morning. I hope all goes well with the MRI. Attitude is Everything!

  3. I hope the MRI will bring you some much needed answers. How frustrating not to have all the details.

    It is interesting that you were able to take the focus off of your knees when you were blogging. There is a lot to be said about the power of the mind.

    Best of luck tonight.

  4. Let's hope the way everything seems to have fallen into place (for want of a better expression!) with your knee today will be beginning of the end of your knee problems. I will keep everything crossed (even my legs!) for you!

    P x

  5. Your post is beautiful and inspiring. I agree with you that sometimes happiness is a choice. You seem to really know a lot about yourself and your journey to this point. Great blog!

  6. I love all your paragraphs. Your AA stuff helps me more than you'll ever know. Thanks for being open and honest enough with us to share it. :)

  7. :) Love your posts. Real and hopeful. The best combination. :)

    Do you know that the best way to instill hope is NOT to pour out positive affirmations and "your wonderfuls", but to acknowledge the facts about a situation and then, point out that which is hopeful. Like "whatever is causing problems with my kneecap can be remedied."

    Your posts hold that balance. I feel like I've had therapy after I've read them. ...and heaven knows, I can use some of that! :D hahaha



  8. Hi Leslie. Reminds me of that old psych experiment - tell a person not to think of a pink elephant .... And then what the hell else are they going to think about?

    Distractions. Unfortunately my biggest distraction (guess who? Clue: begins with B) comes with a whole load of problems attached. I need some new distractions!

    Hope you're having a good day.

    Bearfriend xx

  9. This post was just what I needed today to get my mood and mind in the right place. Thank you.

  10. I enjoyed all "80 extra paragraphs". I loved the quote from Abraham Lincoln which said "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

    It sounds like I've missed alot and have some catching up to do!!

    I just became a follower and promise to read your posts and comment along the way!

  11. Abraham Lincoln was right. And as someone who was mildly depressed with a chronically depressed wife, it took some guts to say that!

    I'm glad you're feeling loved and supported here. I do too.

  12. What a really great post. I too don't know what I would do without the support of fellow bloggers. It means so much to me not to be alone in this! Thanks :)

  13. Leslie,
    I'm so sorry your knee is still bothering you, but I'm glad to see you getting it taken care of quickly. BTW, I don't know if I told you, but I'm SO proud of you for getting back in the pool. And I LOVE your new swimsuit. I want it! :D Good luck with the doctors.

  14. Hey thanks for your comments to me. :)

    I am happy knowing you are taking care of your knee properly and promptly... the rest is still in your hands and you are holding steady aye? :)

  15. I definitely believe that one is only as happy as they make up their mind to be. It's a shame that so many people decide to be unhappy, decide to always be victims of circumstance.

  16. I copy a lot of your AA stuff over on my side bar to save/reference/remember. I LOVED the magnifying mind - so very true!!!

  17. hope the knee feels better soon!