Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Getting Real About My Mess

42 Comments

Window w Blue with Stars

“Don’t Compare Your Insides to Other People’s Outsides.”

The other day, I was listening to an interview on public radio with Peter Sagal, host of “Wait, Wait… Don’t tell Me!” “Wait, Wait” is a comedy quiz show I’d never watched or listened to, so I checked it out on youtube. In the recent interview, Mr. Sagal talked about mental health challenges and how looking at social media sites like Facebook can make a person think: everybody else is so happy. What’s wrong with me? Am I the only one with problems? 

I got to thinking about that and realized that if you look at my Facebook page, or read my book, you’d think I must be pretty darn happy these days. Most of the time, I feel moderately happy.  Yeah, I got to retire from my stressful job, and I’m married to the love of my life, so a lot of the big challenges (stupid mistakes, divorce, more stupid mistakes, and the death of my parents) seem to be behind me. Knock on wood. But life can still be messy.  So, in the interest of being real, here are some of my current messes:

Codependency is still part of my life. After years of recovery meetings, step work, and reading daily meditations for codependents, I still worry too much about other people’s mess – what they think about me, how I might be able to fix help them, etc. But I’m making progress. I don’t let codependency run my life like it used to. I’m a “Recovering People Pleaser,” but some days, I’m still too nice. Or when I’m not nice, because I’m tired of being nice, I feel guilty. The good thing is I feel guilty for minutes or hours instead of days and weeks.

I struggle to let go of my adult children. Not as much in my actions as in my thoughts. Their lifestyles and beliefs are not what I imagined for them. I worry about them. I know some of that’s normal. My parents must have felt the same way about me. But it sure is uncomfortable sometimes. I’m slowly learning to let go.

I’m still more sensitive than I’d like to be. My feelings can get hurt by little things which don’t seem little and which I dwell on too long. Intellectually, I can tell myself all kinds of reasons not to let it get to me, but it’s a struggle.

With all this residual sensitivity and codependency, I get to work on issues with the love of my life. We both have issues. Now we get to work on them together. That’s why we are in the relationships we’re in. And to support each other and have fun. Let’s not forget that!

I have lots of conversations in my head. Thank God and my guardian angels for protecting me when I drive. I’m working on this. I tell myself to focus on the road ahead, to practice mindful driving, and it works for a while, then I realize I’ve been rehearsing a conversation that probably won’t ever happen.

My house is messy. I have a lot of dog hair in my house, and my 16 year old terrier/beagle has incontinence issues. I need to brush the dogs more and buy some air freshener.

It’s been a while, but I like to look at photos of stars with no make up.

So that’s my current mess without touching on the bigger messes of my past, or the mess I don’t even see, because we don’t always see all of our own mess.

I’m thankful that my life is mostly good now, but it’s not a bed of roses.  Okay, there are  are roses, slightly wilted with thorns. Everybody has thorns. Everybody has messes. We all have stuff to work on. And God’s grace is always available.

pale pink rose with thorns

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Christian, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again. I also paint angels.

42 thoughts on “Getting Real About My Mess

  1. Yes, we all have messes, but that is what makes us who we are doesn’t it?😉 After all, if we didn’t have messes, we’d all be like cloned drones of perfection. That sounds boring. Let’s celebrate ‘Messy’ lives! 💖🙌

  2. Thanks for sharing the messiness of your life. Where there is perfection, know that “the mess” is hidden from sight. No matter where we stand on the wealth-fame-success scale, we are all human beings prone to the extremes of life’s joy and sorrow.

  3. Oh gee, JoAnna. Stop worrying about something so trivial. I have huge piles of papers that have never been opened. I need to hire someone to help me sort through what is important. I have so much mail and various papers to keep or throw away. It bothers me but depression keeps me all but immobilized. I just look at it all and think that one day I will be able to rise from the ashes and do what I need to do. I have many things to go through since my sister died. I will have to hire someone to help me box the papers and photos. I can’t bring myself to do it alone. I suppose we all have a cross to bear and some folks can deal with it and some can not. I would not worry about dust in the house. Who sees it anyway?

    • Thank you so much, Yvonne. Who sees it anyway is right. I need to keep my house in a way that pleases me and my family. The dogs certainly don’t mind. 🙂 Going through the things of loved ones who have passed on can be overwhelming. I think hiring someone to help is a good idea. Someone who can be objective, but compassionate. I have piles, too – mostly magazines and slips of paper I wrote on. I finally organized my bill receipt basket by taking all the pens and markers out so the papers fit neatly. One step at a time. And there are more important things! I hope you can enjoy little moments of light and beauty. Thanks again for your encouragement not to worry! ❤

  4. “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” Charlie Chaplin
    You beautifully penned it down, we all have thorns. we all have messes. Thanks God life is not perfect, because it could be a disaster. ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. I hear you JoAnna.. life is in constant flow of ups and downs, Highs and lows.. We would not be in our Earth Life if all were perfection.. 😀 But learning to smile through the challenges is what makes us stronger.. 🙂 Some days I do nothing, other days I never stop.. The good thing now we are retired, we are free to choose.. And if I feel like resting, I rest.. and the dust can wait.. 🙂 🙂

    • Smiling through challenges does help. My energy changes like that, too. The dust can wait – I like that. Thank you! 🙂 ❤

      • It will only be there next week.. LOL.. So why not dust up twice as much in one go haha.. lol.. A little dust here and there, never hurt anyone.. And To think at one time when I worked Full time I would clean house top to bottom spotless everything on a certain day had to be done..
        Now I am retired I have all the time in the world to clean, and find so many other things to do instead.
        Enjoy! JoAnna… and go with your energy flow.. Clean and clear out when you feel like it.. Rest when your body tells you to rest.. ❤

  6. Great post! Everyone has their messes.
    Does this pet hair make me look loved?
    I also enjoy seeing stars without makeup. (And especially those with rosacea like me!)
    I talk to angels when I drive, too.

    • Better to talk to the angels than someone who isn’t even there. “Does this pet hair make me look loved?” would make a great meme. Thanks for making me smile, Joey!

  7. happy to hear
    we both
    have mental health,
    & messes
    the best we can 🙂

  8. Love this post JoAnna! We’re all a work in progress. And like Ram Dass says, we’re all just walking each other hone.

  9. I’m having a hard time letting go of my children too.

    • Thank you for saying so, Cathi. I wonder if it will continue to become less hard – in tiny increments. Most likely, it will always be work in progress.

  10. Beautiful post JoAnna. Thanks for sharing your life openly. Most of us have messy lives. Thanks for the courage to be real and vulnerable. And I’m glad your life is mostly good now. Hugs and blessings.

  11. great post – everyone is far too hard on themselves

  12. Pingback: Codependency is the Emotional Foundation for All Addictions – Codependency is the Foundation for Addiction and Comes From Childhood Trauma

  13. Pingback: Codependency is the Emotional Foundation for All Addictions – Emotional Sobriety: Mind, Body, & Soul

  14. I just plugged “codependency” into the search bar and began reading this without even realizing it was you!

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