Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A New Earth [Outlook]

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the Medicaid recertification went out. Now it's time to take care of me and my issues. I am loving the Oprah Winfrey/Eckhart Tolle web workshop. Considering the way I have pissed people off and driven them away, it is work I have to do for me. So far it has dealt with forgiveness and separating the self [he refers to this as the "ego"] from material possessions. One of the things that has me stuck and surrounded by my art and craft supplies and other clutter, has been my unwillingness to get rid of that part of my identity. The other factor is of course, time and energy. So last night I set to work scanning my rubber stamp and scrapbooking supplies, to list on eBay..

I have thrown out a lot of stuff, and it was painful. But I have begun to look at the process as a purge of clutter and a way to let new ideas and endeavors enter my life, which it has not been able to do for the clutter that I looked at every minute of the day in this place. A lot of my dealings with people in my life has been affected by the roles I have played in my relationships. Always the planner, the initiator and the organizer, it's been difficult for others and myself to give that up and let others do that for me. And it might be impossible for others to do for me. Ditto for the people I have chosen to be in my life. My friends and colleagues were always type A, driven, busy, and largely high-achieving. That hasn't changed for them; it had to change for me. I am going to name one of my books "Forced to Sit Still and Shut Up", because that is precisely what has happened. If it weren't for ALS, I would be doing the same thing. It was silly of me to expect that, just because I am forced to be still, that my entire social circle should do the same. I need to look for support in a place where there are other people who are able to sit still for a while as well. A fellow PALS once told me that the fact that she got ALS later in life, when her circle of friends was largely retired with grown children who were out of the house, is the reason she is not at a loss to find friends and neighbors to spend time with. It was a startling revelation to me, when this concept clicked for me.

I would love to somehow find a discussion group that I could belong to, to discuss the book and keep doing this work on an ongoing basis. Right now, I am letting myself fulfill this need online, which is fine. The chapter we are currently reading deals with the choice to look at illness as an obstacle to overcome, or as a victimization. I do both, but I need to learn to get rid of my role of "victim". Good news: my aides, when they show their Concepts ID, and are with me, can get into any UA movie for free. The Midway in Forest Hills is a UA theater. So now I don't have to pay double admission to take my aide to the movies, or wait until a friend is available to go to a movie with me!

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