Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Boxes, Boundaries, and Cat Dentistry

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “out of the box.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “out of the box.” Enjoy!

So many ideas swirling around the stream which is not a box at all, but there could be boxes of ideas riding along on the stream of consciousness bumping into one another.

The first thing I thought of what how my grown kids are still and always have been outside the box type of people. Can’t imagine how that happened. The things their father and I had in common were art and science fiction. But that’s a tangent to paddle back out of.

I’d rather eat Chinese food out of the box than the plastic. Boxes are easier to recycle as some plastics don’t recycle as easily. I have quite a collection of plastic. You’re supposed to flatten boxes first. That’s one of my soapboxes within the box of recycling. But the Chinese food I prefer comes in plastic mostly with the rice in the white box which I open, rinse and recycle. Been saving those wire handles for some kind of project. Actually used one to hang something once.

Boxes make me think of boundaries. Boundaries can be good protection. But some of them need to be flexible. Negotiables like swearing and non-negotiables like no hitting. We have lots of boundaries to keep Mama Cat and Marley separated. Marley is learning to respect those boundaries. One of the most important boxes in our house is the litter box. Well, there are other boxes that are also important, like jewelry boxes and boxes up in the attic with treasures or junk, depending on your perspective.

Mama Cat was happy to get outside the box – her carrier – after she came home from dental surgery a week before Christmas. She had five teeth removed! I was worried about the procedure and the possibility of having to give her pills post surgery. So I wrote a note to the vet when I dropped Mama Cat off. The vet ended up giving her long-acting pain meds and antibiotics, so I didn’t have to worry about giving her pills. It’s been a long time since I gave a cat a pill, like 30 years ago, and Mama Cat is skittish anyway, but getting better.

The long-acting pain medication was a form of buprenorphine which is prescribed at the facility I used to work for. Mama Cat was practically bouncing off the walls, very hyper, and very affectionate for four days. She also started eating a lot more and is more active since having her teeth pulled leading me to realize she must have been uncomfortable with bad teeth. It’s hard when animals and babies cannot tell you what hurts. She will still go into her carrier to get the food I place in the back, so that’s good, though I hope we don’t have to go back to the vet for a while.

Some cats love to get in boxes, but having spent most of her life feral, Mama Cat doesn’t seem interested. She does like her lean-to cave and small table we added sides to so that’s like a boxy cave. Small children sometimes like to play in boxes, too. When my son was a toddler, he’d sit in a box, and we’d pull him around on the carpet. Do boxes make us feel safe or are they confining? Depends on the situation. It’s usually good to step out of the box, but not roam too far, unless you have a tent or a camper trailer which I’ve been casually looking into. Mama Cat would probably prefer to stay home as long as she can go out on her catio and watch the squirrels.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for riding along on the stream of consciousness.

Here are some photos which may be related or not…

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For more streams and rules,

visit out host Linda G. Hill

by clicking HERE.


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One-Liner Wednesday: When It’s Time for Boundaries

“No, it’s time we set some boundaries.”

 

Giving tree boundaries

I’ve always wanted to rewrite the ending to The Giving Tree, on behalf of the tree and for myself.  It’s okay to give. Sometimes, it’s okay to sacrifice. But allowing others to damage us for the sake of their comfort or convenience is unhealthy.  In a healthy relationship, no one should be expected to give to the point of long term damage. It’s okay to set boundaries and take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.

(I have forgotten where I found this cartoon, so feel free to let me know.)

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill.

For more one-liners and guidelines, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/07/08/one-liner-wednesday-july-8th-that-feeling-when/

2019 1linerWeds badge

 

 


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Compassion at the Gate

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“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. Have fun!”

I like to have that up there as a reference, even if it is stream of consciousness writing that I’m doing. I want to remember that “have fun,” part because this prompt has got me thinking all serious. Maybe I’ll work the fun part in. I don’t know because we’re not supposed to plan. That’s like telling me I’m not supposed to check the stove 3 times, lock the door, and jiggle the door knob before I leave the house.

Anyway, I was thinking about the saying that the end doesn’t always justify the means. That is especially true when the means means being mean. I don’t usually get political here on this blog. In fact, I try real hard not to. But some people are just plain mean.

Moving back to my own little world, I have felt mean when setting healthy boundaries, but that comes from years of being too nice and a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict. I’ve been saying “no” more as I get older to things that feel toxic. If someone wanted to live in my house because they had no where else to go, I’d say no – unless it was a family member who I got along well with. But it’s hard when you don’t know someone how far to let them into your space.

I’m thinking of the caravan of people who are not coming to my house. They might be coming to my country. It’s a big country full of abundance. We have to have some boundaries of course. But I keep thinking, what would Jesus want us to do? What did Jesus try to teach us about feeding the poor and helping the homeless? He and his family were refugees soon after his birth.

I know we can’t accept EVERYBODY into the country. I know we have to have rules. But I don’t want us to be mean. I mean, let’s have some compassion for people who are in trouble and not assume they are all dangerous. Let’s find out.

It’s hard. Okay. I know this is weird for an introvert to say let’s be accepting of people coming in if we can do it through the channels – let’s not close the gates, when sometimes I want to close my own gate. Let’s try to figure out how to not do it mean. Let’s not lock the gate and lose the key.

I’m sending love to all the lost souls and meanie heads out there.

It’s complicated, I know.

Speaking of gates, here are some pictures I took, looking from the outside in, at the Land of Oz which opens twice a year on Beech Mountain, NC. It wasn’t open the day we went exploring.

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There’s a surveillance camera on top. We waved.

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A horse of a different color on the other side of the fence.

It occurs to me now that I would not relish going to Oz on one of the weekends when they open because they have LINES and CROWDS which I don’t like much. But if I was in trouble and had to get out of the country (or my granddaughter really wanted to go) I’d probably go stand in line. It would be nice to go to Oz. Is the US like Oz? I know the movie was symbolic. I think I’m getting in over my head. Gonna close that gate for today.

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-10-18/

Go check it out!

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Call Me When You’re Sober.

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday was to post a song about alcohol. I wasn’t sure if I could offer anything since I don’t drink anymore having already done my share. But then I remembered this song by Evanescence. (One of the benefits of having a teenage daughter during the post-divorce years was being exposed to cool bands.)  “Call Me When You’re Sober,” written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsam, was one of my healing songs after the rebound from hell and reinforced my right to set boundaries and keep myself safe.

Don’t cry to me.
If you loved me,
You would be here with me.
You want me,
Come find me.
Make up your mind.

Should I let you fall?
Lose it all?
So maybe you can remember yourself.
Can’t keep believing,
We’re only deceiving ourselves .
And I’m sick of the lie,
And you’re too late.

Don’t cry to me.
If you loved me,
You would be here with me.
You want me,
Come find me.
Make up your mind.

Couldn’t take the blame.
Sick with shame.
Must be exhausting to lose your own game.
Selfishly hated,
No wonder you’re jaded.
You can’t play the victim this time,
And you’re too late.

Don’t cry to me.
If you loved me,
You would be here with me.
You want me,
Come find me.
Make up your mind.

You never call me when you’re sober.
You only want it cause it’s over,
It’s over.

How could I have burned paradise?
How could I – you were never mine.

So don’t cry to me.
If you loved me,
You would be here with me.
Don’t lie to me,
Just get your things.
I’ve made up your mind.

(From azlyrics.com)

 

 

Song lyric Sunday is brought to you by Helen at:

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/06/10/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-61117/


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How to Help an Addict (or Alcoholic)

Iron fence

Last week, I shared things I’ve learned about addiction and recovery over the past thirty years. When I started working in the substance abuse field, there were drug counselors, and there were alcohol counselors. Over time, we realized people switch addictions.  So when I say addict, I include alcoholic, because alcohol is a mood altering, potentially addictive drug. Sometimes I say alcohol and other drugs. Either way, chemical dependence affects not only the “identified patient,” it affects family members, loved ones, and everyone who cares.

We worry about them. We lie awake at night and wonder about what we did or didn’t do. Did we lecture too much? Should we have said more? We feel shame, anger, confusion and fear. We feel love. Even when we don’t want to feel anything. When we try to control situations beyond our control, or try to make everyone happy, we just end up making ourselves sick. We wonder how we can help.

What I’ve learned is that we have to put our own oxygen masks on first. We have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves.

Here are some other things I’ve learned that might help those who care about some one struggling with alcohol or other drug problems:

1. Develop a support network for you. Go to Alanon, Naranon  Celebrate Recovery, Codependents Anonymous or an open AA or NA meeting. One of my favorite daily meditation books is, The Language of Letting Go, Daily Meditations for Codependents, by Melody Beattie. I believe it saved my sanity a time or two.

2. Invite your loved one to clean and sober activities, like going to a movie, or for a walk, or any low risk event where there will be no alcohol or other drugs.

3. Be encouraging, not critical. Try not to bring up the past. Express your needs. Express your fears and concerns if you need to, but express your hopes more.

4. Ask how you can help support their recovery, but set boundaries to take care of yourself. As one family member put it:

“I’ll help you in your recovery but not in your addiction.”

5. Don’t drink or use around them. I know this might be controversial.  Some people in recovery might say it’s okay for you to drink around them. Unless this person has been clean and sober for a long time, like 10 years, and works a program, it’s not worth the risk. Model that it’s possible to have fun and live life without drinking/drugging.

6. Don’t enable the problem: Don’t give money, don’t clean up messes, or cover up the natural consequences of the addiction. It’s okay to provide food, or if the person is working a recovery program, maybe pay a bill, but not repeatedly. (If safety is an issue, do what’s necessary to help someone, especially children, be safe.)

7. Offer to provide child care so the person can go to a meeting or counseling appointment. Or offer to help with rides to meetings or counseling appointments if you can.

8.Pray. The Serenity Prayer is always a good one, and works for about any situation.

9. Take care of yourself. Set reasonable boundaries for your own well-being. Get the rest, nutrition and support you need.

10. Never give up hope. Recovery takes time. Things might get worse, even after the drinking and drugging stop, before they get better. You might need to create distance to protect yourself, but remember: there is always hope.

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