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This post by the lovely Twisted Knitter inspired me to write my own story.  It's hard to know what is appropriate to share on this space or why I would even want to share personal things.  Like Janet, I'm not sure if this will get posted.

I have through out my life imposed ridiculously high standards for myself and impossible goals that made me feel bad when I didn’t reach them. I also felt like I couldn’t say no to anyone. I resented my friends and family for expecting so much from me. What a mess, I was so unhappy!  And it was all my fault, my doing.

During and before the time my son became sober, about 2 years ago, we had so much time to talk as a family. I used that time to take a hard look at myself, did not like what I saw,  and set my mind to go about changing.  Other people's behavior is not in my control.  If you have ever had a child who is spiraling out of control because of alcohol, the pain is unbearable.  It was making me sick, or rather I was making me sick.  I just knew I couldn't be sick anymore.  Perhaps others, including my son, couldn’t or wouldn’t change, but I knew I could.

I read a lot on this subject and talked to people I trusted and got a lot of encouragement.  Then I tried to let some things go.  First to go was my unattainable desire for perfection! control! speed! adoration!  I got the courage to look the other way, remove myself from situations, and stay away from certain people.  I started to say NO often!  I eventually quit my unhealthy job situation.  Most importantly, I set a standard for how I thought I should be treated and accepted no less.  Believe me, these changes were not easy to make then, but easier now, you get used to making the changes and finally the changes become habits.  The changes become the new you.  Lucky for me I had a few close friends and a loving family to share things with.  And prayer was my constant quiet companion.

It’s funny, I think some people may have noticed a change in me, but rarely did anyone say anything. Perhaps if they saw a change they adapted to the new me and still loved me.  My son became sober and he was proud of the changes in me.  I was proud of him.

I am now so much better, so much happier.  I have a feeling of peace and contentment that was out of my grasp a few years ago.  I know my husband is happier that I am happier, but truthfully, he had a bit of an upset at the beginning.

I acknowledge that I am very talented in so many ways.  I love to create, do and make, and love to share all of it. But now it’s always on my terms and I never allow myself to feel guilty about how I spend my time or money or explain away who or what I love. 

Those whom I love, I show it, I behave myself around them and give them space and acceptance.  I expect it back too.  It's way easier that way, why didn't I think of it before?

My son read this and suggested I add that it takes courage to evaluate one's self, come up lacking and seek out change.  It sure does, I observed his courage with great pride and took pride in my own.  This is not so much my story but my family's story, specifically my part in my family's story.  Perhaps our story will inspire courage in others. 

At 60, I am a real work in progress.  God help me.

Bless you, and thank you for reading.

xoxo Kristen

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Its so hard to always want to be perfect. Im the same way with everything i do, but i told myself to forget it while im young! "those who matter wont mind, and those who do dont matter!"

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  2. Thank you, Kristen, for sharing some of your deepest self with us. I truly admire your courage, not just in publishing this post but in discovering and making the changes you needed in your life. I've always been inspired by your talent and your energy in life as we see it in your writing, but am even more so now.

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  3. I think we're all 'works in progress', that's what keep us young and alive - thank you so much for sharing your work so honestly!

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  4. thank you for sharing...we ARE all works in progress. those of us who recognize that tend to make more progress! best wishes for 2012!

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  5. I think everybody has another side to their crafting, and it doesn't often get shared on blogs--whether that's what others think of money and time spent, perfectionism and self criticism, or whatever. But my favorite thing you wrote was about setting a standard for how you thought you should be treated and (I'm assuming) not being around those who don't meet it. Thanks for sharing these personal thoughts. Lastly, I wish your son every success in his sobriety.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story and telling us how you found the strength to change. Saying "NO" is the hardest thing to do, when you feel flattered that someone wants something you have created. I have found that when I say "YES", I am resentful the entire time I am making the item, and I take that resentment out on my family, who deserves it the least. I hope I can incorporate your strength into my life, and start putting my time and talents towards those I love the most. In the end, they are generally the only ones who really appreciate it anyway. The rest are just looking for a deal, because they are not willing to pay the price to have one of your beautifully created items. Thanks again . . . you inspire me!

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  7. This must have taken courage to write, thank you for sharing.
    I'm a similar age to you and still consider myself to be a work in progress, hopefully for the better.
    Janet (UK)

    (I've added the 'UK' as I realised you have another Janet. I'm the Downton one)

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  8. Good for you, changing your life and inspiring others to do the same! I read TwistedKnitter's post yesterday and was greatly impressed by you both. I had a similar epiphany some time ago, and can fully appreciate what you've overcome.

    -- By the way, are those your roses in the photo? If I might ask, what kind are they? They're incredible! I'm guessing a Bourbon, but which one specifically? Flowers like those just lift my heart when I see them ~

    LynneW

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    1. Hi Lynne, thank you for your nice words. The rose is a David Austin called Climbing Eden. It covers an arch that is the entrance to my vegetable garden and is one of my favorites. It has a nice fragrance too.

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  9. What a wonderful post that you have written. I don't think I could of ever done that but you have a lot of courage and family that loves you and of course the prayers. You have so many talents and a wonderful husband and son. I am always very proud of you. Blessings........

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  10. I'm humbled that my blog entry inspired you to share. I think it takes a lot of courage to face unhealthy habits, but it takes even more courage to make changes.

    And your quote:

    I never allow myself to feel guilty about how I spend my time or money or explain away who or what I love.

    . . . it's right on target.

    I've always loved your little space here and look forward to your blog entries and this one is no exception. Thank you for sharing your uplifting and graceful story.

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  11. Kristen, thank you very much for sharing your story! I always love reading your stories. This one had touched something that I have been working on. It is about learning not to be in control all the time, letting go of things.
    I wish you and your family best! May God bless you and help you to have wonderful relationships amongst yourselves!

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